Ege University, Ege Vocational Training School, Department of Agricultural Machinery, 35100, Izmir, Turkey
OZ, ERDAL, 2014. Performance evaluation of a tractor mounted mechanical cotton picker. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 20: 487-496
Mechanical cotton harvesting showed significant progress in Turkey for last decade. The most common cotton harvesters are self-propelled, high capacity, horizontal spindle type pickers. These types of pickers need to be run in more than 150-200 ha per season to reach an economical picking in Turkish conditions. However, agricultural lands are in Turkey are mostly small (avg. 6 ha) and fragmented. This structure has led the small-scale farmers to seek alternative ways. One of them was tractormounted pickers that suitable for small-scale farms. The objective of this study was to determine the qualitative and quantitative performance of two narrow row (0.76 m) tractor mounted with vertical spindle prototype cotton picker manufactured in Turkey. Field trials were held at four locations with three different varieties (Stoneville 393; Stoneville 457 and Carmen - Fibermax) at 0.76 m inter-row spacing. Results revealed that plant and field conditions and defoliation were effective on the quantitative performances results. In general, the prototype picker showed a successful performance and can pick with average 3% ground loss if suitable conditions are provided. No significant effect was observed between the treatments (hand and mechanical picking) and fiber quality values. The prototype picker used in the study was found suitable for small-scale farms.