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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Costs Associated with Alternative Cotton Stripper-Harvesting Systems in Texas

Authors: Jeannie Nelson, Sukant K. Misra, and Alan Brashears
Pages: 70-78
Economics and Marketing

Cotton growers need accurate cost information for the various harvesting methods. This study provides cost estimates of six harvesting methods; four-, six-, and eight-row strippers with and without bur extractors. The least costly harvesting systems for these methods, based on size of cotton operation in Texas, were determined by comparing the corresponding estimated average harvesting costs and custom harvesting charges. Results indicated that a typical Texas cotton producer with 235 ha (582 acres) and a lint yield of 586 kg (524 lb) would minimize the cost of harvesting by owning a four-row stripper with or without a bur extractor. When comparing stripper systems without bur extractors, the alternative with the minimum harvesting cost was the four-row stripper up to 567 ha (1400 acres) and the six-row stripper for a farm larger than 607 ha (1500 acres). The eight-row stripper was not found to minimize harvesting costs for any of the farm sizes examined. For stripper alternatives with bur extractors, the harvesting cost was minimized by the four-row stripper up to 324 ha (800 acres), the sixrow stripper for farms 364 - 891 ha (900 - 2200 acres), and the eight-row stripper for farms larger than 931 ha (2300 acres). Custom harvesting costs were found to be much greater than the ownership of a stripper with or without a bur extractor for any of the farm sizes examined in this study. These results are based on the costs associated with ownership of one cotton stripper and may differ considerably if costs associated with ancillary equipment also were considered.