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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Moisture Measurement

Authors: Mathew G. Pelletier, and Rick K. Byler
Pages: 121-130
Engineering and Ginning
DOI: (

Proper measurement of moisture content (MC) during the ginning process is crucial for proper management of a cotton gin. It is important to avoid producing wet cotton lint for the benefit of textile mills and because wet cotton is damaged in storage and degrades the value of cotton leading to a USDA-AMS classing color-grade that is no longer reflective of the actual color of cotton, which in turn is damaging to U.S. cotton commodity markets. Cotton stored at too high MC is unacceptable for marketing and is ineligible for placement into the Commodity Credit Corporation Marketing Assistance Loan Program. Additional problems occur with improper cotton moisture when ginning at excessively low MC, which results in cotton lint of lower quality with shorter fiber length and lower fiber length uniformity. Thus, use of moisture sensors are critical to ensure cotton gins produce bales at a MC that is safe for long term storage and transport. To assess cotton moisture, several meters are available from different manufacturers for the measurement of seed cotton and cotton lint MC. Some of these meters are portable and can be used with seed cotton or lint, whereas others are permanently installed. Some meters are suitable for automated moisture control in the gin.