Cotton harvest on the South Plains is underway. Two weeks of warmer, drier and sunnier weather helped open bolls and raise optimism among growers.
Lamb County cotton producer Preston Huguley began his harvest season Oct. 25, 2017, on one of his fields southeast of Olton, after applying harvest aids Oct. 12 and seven days later, a desiccant.
"Yields look promising," says Huguley. "But I won't know about the quality of the cotton until it's graded."
As producers and cotton harvest crews head to the field, Cotton Incorporated reminds everyone of the following safety measures:
- Always read and understand the operator’s manual for the equipment you are about to operate. Pay special attention to safety concerns and follow all safety procedures to prevent injury or death.
- Operate harvesting machinery at appropriate speeds, taking into account ground conditions and slope.
- Harvesting equipment is often “top-heavy.” Do not dump harvesters on sloping ground, in high winds, near electrical lines, or while moving. Make sure the rear axle stabilizer system works before dumping.
- Always keep a fully charged fire extinguisher on harvesting equipment. If you detect a basket fire in time, dump the load on the ground and move the harvester away quickly. Never try to extinguish a fire from inside the basket.
- At least once a day, clean seed cotton, lint, and trash from the engine compartment and other heat sources on your harvester. Keep these areas clean, and you will greatly reduce the chance of machine fires.
- Always install mechanical cylinder stops or blocks before you perform maintenance on row units, under raised baskets, or under other hydraulically controlled systems. Stops and blocks will prevent the systems from lowering unexpectedly.
- Wear close-fitting clothing and pay close attention when you work around harvesting equipment. Before you get near any moving part, make sure the parking brake is set and the engine is shut off.
Southwest Farm Press staff would like to wish growers a safe and bountiful harvest!