Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Snowing! Nope it's cotton picking time in the South

This time of year the cotton fields are ready to be harvested. I like to refer to the cotton as " Southern Snow". When it is harvested little bits of cotton fly around in the wind and get scattered along the roadways much like snow flurries up North.

The cotton boll(pronounced bowl) is a pretty sight but although I have never picked cotton I have been assured it is not a pleasant task. The bolls have very sharp thorns or edges.

Picking cotton now is all by machine. There is the harvester, and when it gets full it dumps its load into what I call a tamper( I don't know what it really is called) which tamps the cotton down real hard. When the 'tamper' is full it raises up and leaves a 'brick' of tamped cotton behind.

The farmers cover the cotton to keep it dry until a special truck comes by to carry it off to the cotton gin. At the cotton gin the cotton seeds are removed.

Cotton seeds have many uses- they are pressed for cotton seed oil, ground into meal for use as a soil amendment and of course some are saved for next years crop. 

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