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Industry News for October 2018

University Of Arkansas Cover Crop Fact Sheet Now Available Online

Row crop producers wanting to explore cover crops as a way to help save water, manage weeds and improve soil now have the first of a series of fact sheets as a resource, says Trent Roberts, associate professor-soil fertility for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

he Division of Agriculture’s release of “Understanding Cover Crops” coincides with the ideal planting window for many winter cover crops.

“While cover cropping is not a new concept, crop rotations, management practices and types of crops grown have changed a lot in the past 30 years,” says Roberts, the principal author. “Successfully implementing cover crops requires planning. The more information we can get in producer’s hands the more benefits they can realize.”

Future fact sheets will focus on specific cover crop species “and if there are any cover crops that you would like more information on, please don’t hesitate to let us know,” Roberts says.

Contact him at tlrobert@uark.edu. “Understanding Cover Crops” is available for download at https://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/ FSA-2156.pdf. For more information on cover crops, contact your county Extension office or visit www.uaex.edu or http://arkansascrops.com.

Webcast Provides Energy Saving Recommendations For Cotton Gins

Energy costs represent 20 percent of the total cost of ginning and vary widely across facilities. Identifying best practices for reducing energy consumption is important to gin owners, managers and operators.

“Saving Energy in Cotton Gins” is a new webcast in the “Focus on Cotton” series. Paul A. Funk, agricultural engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory in Mesilla Park, New Mexico. He makes energy-saving recommendations based on energy audits and monitoring studies conducted at more than 30 commercial cotton gins across the U.S. Cotton Belt.

Key recommendations address pneumatic conveying and fuel consumption:

• Pneumatic conveying represents 50 percent of the electrical energy used by a typical gin. Usage can be reduced by sealing leaks in air ducts, minimizing turbulence before and after fans, reducing pressure drops by simplifying flow paths, and using mechanical conveyors where practical.

• Fuel consumption represents 6 to 8.5 percent of the total cost of ginning. Usage can be reduced by insulating the hottest ducts, minimizing the distance between burners and cotton pickup points, and adding automatic controls with temperature sensing in recommended locations.

Funk also points out that environmental stewardship and economic sustainability are both served through improved energy use.

Access the free, 9.5-minute presentation through the Focus on Cotton resource on the Plant Management Network courtesy of Cotton Incorporated. Go to http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org.