Cotton. It’s something that we probably take for granted, not often recalling that cotton comes from crops that need to be planted, harvested and processed each year. Cotton is used in a wide variety of consumer products including t-shirts, dress shirts, dresses, socks, feminine care products, diapers, cleansing wipes and quilting products.

Cotton production is an important industry in the United States. It’s a $25 billion industry that employs over 200,000 people. While cotton has been cultivated and processed for over 5,000 years, most of that period only saw the use of slow labor-intense hand farming methods.

Today’s modern processes were initiated by the invention of the cotton gin, often attributed to Eli Whitney’s 1793 invention. Whitney’s gin used a mechanical process to clean and separate the cotton fibers found in the seed pods from the seeds and other plant materials gathered in the harvest. At harvest time, the cotton is mechanically picked then transferred to a gin for drying and cleaning. While Whitney’s first gin could clean only about 50 pounds of cotton per day, today’s gins can process up to 33,000 pounds per hour. After the gin does its work, large fiber modules are transferred to the textile mills to be processed into various consumer products.

Today’s efficient high-volume cotton production is facilitated by sophisticated machinery that can harvest over 200 pounds of cotton per every 90 seconds. There are several excellent harvesting machines to choose from.

Strengths of John Deere CP690

The John Deere CP690 offers outstanding non-stop cotton harvesting technology so operators don’t have to wait in the field for a boll buggy or module builder. It makes the harvest more productive and requires less labor. The CP690 system requires only an 8R Series or equivalent Row-Crop Tractor and a Frontier™ CM1100 Cotton Module Handler, or equivalent. With this reduction of equipment, there is less traffic in the field, less labor required, and less fuel consumed.

Non-stop harvesting is achieved by using a high-volume accumulator to collect the cotton. The formed round module is wrapped with a protective film and then pushed onto the machine’s rear handler. The completed module can then be carried to the end of the row and off-loaded while the harvesting process continues.

The CP690 offers plenty of power with a 560-hp engine, plus 30-hp extra power if boosted by the turbocharger, for outstanding performance. It also offers full-time four-wheel drive and anti-slip regulation for superior traction control. This power delivers a harvesting speed of up to 4.4mph. And, it comes with a large 370-gal. fuel tank, making once-a-day diesel fueling an efficient reality.

Modules get great protection because they are wrapped three times with the CP690’s onboard module builder to keep the cotton protected from wind, dust and rain.

The CP 690 also has a moisture sensor that offers industry-leading accuracy. It provides real-time moisture readings that the operator can rely-on.

Strengths of Case IH Module Express

Simplicity is a key aim of the Case IH Module Express, with enhanced performance and superior design delivering simple harvesting operation and simple maintenance. It’s a fuel-efficient machine, delivering up to 416 peak horsepower in an 8.7-liter engine. It offers fully synchronized picking with speeds up to 4.2mph in first gear and up to 5.2mph in second gear. Synchronization means that no matter the groundspeed, the machine automatically adjusts the spindles and doffers for the most efficient operation.

Of course, this model eliminates the need for and extra cost of extra tractors, boll buggies, module builders and extra hired labor, so it provides an economical harvesting solution.

The module building chamber vertically packs the transportable module with no exterior plastic and twine so that a single operator can take the cotton from boll to module in one smooth process. It also incorporates a system of sensors and augers to move the cotton, thus creating consistent, rectangular modules. That consistent size improves weatherability and leads to maximized gin-feeding rates.

The Case IH offers twin-sided picking to improve picking efficiency. Plus, design refinements were made to facilitate faster unloading at each row’s end with heavier finished modules.

In the cab is an AFS Pro 700 Monitor offering enhanced processing speed and tracking to improve production efficiency. It comes with a 7-inch flat-screen LCD video monitor.

Design refinements now reduce maintenance needs so that the Case IH Module Express can see more time in the field. Maintenance upgrades include metered lubrication to grease moving parts automatically, improving reliability and durability of parts. And, with a 200-gallon fuel tank, the Case IH Module Express can run comfortably all day.  

Where are Most Farmers Siding?

The familiar green paint signaling John Deere products and traditional red worn by Case IH is often the signal for a healthy debate about the merits of “green vs red.” There are strong advocates for both brands. John Deere has been around a few years longer than Case IH and both companies have benefitted from acquisitions or mergers and have experienced continued growth since their beginnings in the early 1800s. John Deere is considered one of the most popular farm tractor brands in the world and Case IH also has a strong position in the agricultural sector.

John Deere has a rich history of manufacturing some of the best tractors and is widely recommended today because of the consistency they have shown during their long tenure as the market leader in the manufacture of tractors.

John Deere products keep their value well, but they are somewhat more expensive than other brands. Both brands are generally available across America so parts for both are readily available.  

Working With the Machine That is Right for You

It is impressive how far the cotton industry has come since its early days in the United States. Today’s cotton farmers have some impressive equipment to choose from for sophisticated harvesting machinery, with both John Deere and Case IH offering some excellent options.When it’s time for new or replacement parts for your cotton harvester, contact Certi-Pik, USA, a top provider of cotton picker aftermarket parts. Since 1988, we’ve been working with clients around the world to provide the highest quality cotton picker parts available, from fabricated replacement parts to a wide selection of specialty items for use in machine rebuilding. We offer great experience and expertise and we’ll make sure you receive only the best any time you order from us.


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