“We did have some spillage in the field and in the gin yard. Generally, the Case IH modules aren’t packed quite as tight as a regular module, so when you pick them up and put them down, there is more of the cotton spilled than with a conventional module.

“With the John Deere round modules, you do have to change the middle chain of the module truck, and it has to be a chain that won’t chew up the plastic in which these bales are wrapped.

“Pick up time for the John Deere bales is often dependent on the farmer. If they can put the bales down in a straight line it makes it easier and takes less time to pick up these bales.

“Unfortunately, a straight line doesn’t always mean the same to every farmer,” he quips.

“We didn’t see much, if any, spillage with the John Deere modules. You do have to unwrap the Deere modules and there is some cost associated with taking the plastic tarps off these John Deere modules and it’s somewhere between $3 and $300,000,” Morgan jokes.

In explaining the cost factor to growers at the recent Southern Cotton Growers and Southeast Cotton Ginners meeting, Morgan said the cost of handling the plastic wrapping for these bales can cost virtually nothing more than a person with a knife and a stick, or it can be as much as a major renovation to the gin.

“We put the Deere modules in one at a time with a module mover, cut the plastic off, 40 bales per hour and had no problems. It was a little more labor than I wanted to use. We had to end up moving the bales again. It wasn’t the most efficient way of doing it, but we were learning as we moved through the ginning season,” Morgan says.

Morgan ginned cotton from both the Case IH and John Deere OMB pickers. “My observation is that with the Case IH machine, not much change is required at the gin to handle the new modules. Slightly more time is required picking them up, hauling them, adding tarp and cleaning up the gin yard,” he says.

“We had a little more problem with leaking tarps and wet modules — maybe a little more than with conventional modules, but not significantly more. Overall, wetting problems are something to be aware of in fields with drainage problems during times of heavy rainfall,” he adds.

“With the John Deere system, there are some changes, possibly major changes, which will need to be made at the gin. Removing and disposal of the plastic wraps isn’t a big problem or a costly problem, but it is something that takes time and has a cost,” Morgan says.

“The Deere system cotton modules are a superior package. It gins consistently and offers very consistent uniformity and moisture levels. “We did some test plots and there was an unbelievable consistency in module weight,” Morgan concludes.

rroberson@farmpress.com