Evaluation of a Mechanical Cottonseed Delinter for Breeders
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Delinting cottonseed, which is removing short fuzz fiber called linters to polish seed for mechanical planting, is a practice commonly used by cotton breeding programs. The predominant method of delinting cottonseed is acid delinting, which can be dangerous and produces toxic effluent. Disposal of this effluent is costly. Current research on mechanical delinting proposes an alternative to acid delinting. A prototype for commercial delinting developed by USDA-ARS Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit in Lubbock, TX, was used to explore advantages and disadvantages of using a mechanical delinter for small breeder samples. Delinting time, seed carryover between samples, incidence of seed-borne disease, seed size effects and sample size effects were evaluated and compared to acid delinting. Different cantilever brush configurations were tested for efficiencies by processing separate small samples. Seed quality and germination for mechanical and acid delinted samples was compared. Modifications to the cantilever brush system and to the drum decreased delinting time and increased ease of sample processing compared to the original prototype. Small improvements in reduction of seed carryover and in seed-borne disease incidence were observed, but these areas still need improvement. Mechanically delinted seed averaged 87 percent germination using a wet towel method compared to 89 percent for acid delinted seed in 2016. In 2017, mechanically delinted seed planted in a field environment averaged 85 percent germination when a packed drum treatment was used and 76 percent germination when a finished drum treatment was used.
Arce, Joel (2019). Evaluation of a Mechanical Cottonseed Delinter for Breeders. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from