Cotton Picker & Harvest in Action! Photo Essay

Cotton Picker & Harvest in Action! Photo Essay

Last Sunday as I drove home from a few days fun in St. Louis, I decided to go the road less traveled to see if I could find anyone picking cotton. I pulled off I-55 in Sikeston somewhat tempting the fates.

I chose Sikeston though because it’s one of the northern most areas where cotton is grown and I thought by pulling off there in favor of state highways, I’d have the biggest opportunity to see some cotton harvest underway. I hadn’t gone very far when I saw a familiar sight – a cotton gin that I’d visited with friends a few years ago. After a quick check-in with the office, not only did I have the green light to take photos in the gin yard, but I had directions to a nearby farm where they were harvesting.

Below are photos and a few points for anyone reading this who may not have seen cotton harvest or the new on-board baler/module maker that I saw.  (You may have already seen a photo I twitpic’ed from my BlackBerry last weekend as my friend Tara posted it.) I’ll put a few photos here and several more are in the slide show at the end.

Beautiful fields of Cotton Ready for Harvest

Big fields with lots of pretty white bolls! Lots of them too!

cotton row at harvest perfect cotton boll cotton field ready to harvest

Cotton Picking

Cotton pickers pull the plant into the spindles which pull the lint & seed into the machine while the majority of the plant remains in the field. This farm (owned by brothers Wayne & Wade Parker so I was told) uses the new John Deere picker that picks six rows at a time & compacts the cotton into round bales for transfer to the gin.

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Moving Cotton Module Bales for Ginning Access

A tractor driver was trying to keep up with the two pickers dropping bale/modules. He would pick the module up and move it to the turnrow so the gin could pick up several at a time in a module truck.

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15 thoughts on “Cotton Picker & Harvest in Action! Photo Essay

  1. Beautiful photos Janice – I love this time of year. You will have to watch the dueling cotton pickers in the field this year – it is amazing!

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  3. how is cotton planted ,looked after untill harvest ?What equipments are needed for the plantation and harvest?When cotton should be planted ,what kind of fertilizer and pistisized need to be used?what is the amount of waterand how should be uesd?

    1. You have a lot of questions! Glad to see the interest. I have answered some of these questions before and have a lot of posts on this page I call Cotton 101 and your first question may be well answered with But a lot of the questions vary a good bit depending on where you are farming.

      Do you want a really general answer or for an area that is more similar to Arizona (dry and long summers), Georgia (hot and humid) or someplace like the Texas High Plains / Lubbock (short summer, volatile weather)?

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