Terms

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TermDefinition 
baleA bound package of compressed cotton lint. A basic tradable unit of lint (ginned cotton). Bale weights vary from country to country. By convention, a 'statistical' bale weighs 480-500 lbs. Edit
base gradeA selected grade of cotton used by cotton merchants as a basis for contracts, premiums and discounts. Edit
basisThe difference between simultaneous prices for cotton futures and spot cotton. It may be quoted by reference to any futures month. For example the "March basis" would mean the difference between the current price of March futures and the simultaneous quoted value of any given grade and staple of spot cotton. The growth is usually quoted in terms of points on or off the applicable month trading at the New York Cotton Exchange according to the calculated difference Edit
bollThe fruiting structure of a cotton plant. It is a leathery capsule made up of separate compartments called locks, in which cotton seeds and lint grow. Edit
Boll weevilAnthonomus grandis, family Curculionidae; a beetle that causes cotton losses of more than $100 million annually. The larvae feed only on cotton, but the adults may feed on okra, hollyhock and hibiscus. Native to Mexico and Central America. (See Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.) Edit
bolliesunopened bolls of cotton that contain usable lint. Edit
Bt cottonGenetically engineered cotton carrying the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene that produces, in every cotton plant cell, protein crystals toxic to some insect pests. Edit
combedAn industrial yarn preparation. During the combing process, fibers are combed to make them parallel in the sliver and short fibers are removed. Edit
cottonIs a food, feed, and fiber. A soft, white fibrous substance composed of eliptical cells surrounding the seeds of various freely branching tropical plants. Cultivated cotton is a perennial shrub, genus Gossypium. There are two major species in current production - G. hirsutum, commonly known as upland cotton, and G. barbadense or pima cotton. Edit
Cotton AnthracnoseA serious disease caused by the fungus Glomerella gossypii which infest all the above-ground parts of the plant. It causes lesions and cankers on the leaves, stem, and bolls and is sometimes lethal. (aka. Boll rot) Edit
Cotton aphidAphis gossypii, family; an aphid that sucks the juice of cotton, cucurbis, okra, and citrus plants. Edit
Cotton bursMature cotton bolls remaining after the lint and seeds have been removed. Edit
Cotton rustA potash defiincy in cotton, which causes bronzing an dmarginal browning of the leaves. Later, the leaves becom reddish-brown and die; the bolls are dwarfed, do not open and contain inferior fiber. Edit
Cotton squareThe unopened cotton flower bud with its surrounding bracts. Edit
cottonseedthe seed of cotton after the lint has been removed. It is a source of cottonseed oil, the residue is used as a stock feed. Edit
Cottonseed cakeThe solid residue left after the extraction of oil from cotton seeds. It should contain more than 36% protein and is sold according to its nitrogen and protein content. Edit
Cottonseed feedA stock and poultry feed consisting of cottonseed meal and cottonseed hulls. It is sold according to its protein content which is usually between 22 & 36%. Edit
Cottonseed hullsThe outer covering of the cottonseed. It is part of the residue after the extraction of the oil and used extensively for a stock feed. Cottonseed hulls supply no digestible protein but contain 43.7% digestible nutrients; they are fed with protein rich feeds, often cottonseed meal. Edit
Cottonseed mealThe residue of cottonseed kernels from which oil has been pressed. Usually containing the portions of the fiber, hull and oil left after processing the seed: used for stock feed and fertilizer. Edit
Cottonseed oilThe oil extracted from cottonseed, graded and used for human and animal consumption. Within the grades of crude, prime and choice, there are, e.g., crude cottonseed oil, prime summer white cottonseed oil, and choice summer yellow cottonseed oil. Edit
country damageDamage to cotton caused by moisture, dust or sand affecting bales that have either been exposed to the weather or stored on wet or contaminated ground. Edit
dead cottonAn extreme form of immature cotton, having a thin fiber wall. Can result from disease, pest attack or a foreshortened ripening period. Edit
fiberA cotton fiber is classified in four ways, by its length, micronaire, strength and uniformity. (See also length, micronaire, strength and uniformity). The fiber typically accounts for approximately 35 percent of the weight of seed cotton, though this proportion varies. Edit
futures contractsBased on a contract specification fixed by the exchange and traded in a single commodity. In the case of cotton there is only one significant international cotton exchange, based at New York. The basic unit of trading is 22,700 kilos or 50,000lbs (approximately 100 US statistical bales) of Grade 41 (Strict Low Middling) staple 34 (1-1/16") micronaire 3.5-4.9. Less than 2 percent of contracts are actually delivered. They are used more as a price discovery tool or a hedging mechanism. Edit
gin(1) a machine used to separate the cotton seed from the lint. (2) A plant or facility where cotton lint cotton is compressed into bales. Edit
ginning outturnthe ratio of lint to seed cotton produced by the ginning process. Edit
gradeOfficial US classification system given to lint to describe its quality in terms of color and leaf content. Edit
Gray goodsThe raw woven fabric that is sent to a finishing plant where it is bleached, pre-shrunk, dyed, printed and given a special finish. Edit
handleThe subjective assessment of feel (roughness, smoothness, pliability, thickness). Edit
hedgingThe balancing of operations in spot cotton, or related products, with offsetting operations in cotton futures, to reduce the risk of loss through price change during the period of merchandising or manufacturing. Edit
HVIHigh Volume Instrument testing. Systems by which high speed bale by bale testing can be attained. Bales are tested for micronaire, length, uniformity, strength, elongation, color and trash content. Edit
lintThe cotton fiber obtained by the ginning process once the cotton seed, leaves and casings have been removed. Edit
lintersshort-staple cotton removed from the seed and husk by a second ginning, or by a linter machine. Seldom used for textiles; commonly used in plastics and mattress padding. Edit
LoomMachines that weave cotton yarns into fabrics. Edit
metric cotton countAn indirect system measuring length per unit of mass, i.e. The number of kilometres per 1/2 kilogramme. Edit
micronaireThe size of an individual cotton fiber taken in cross-section. Edit
moduleStorage units of harvested cotton composed of 13-15 unprocessed bales of cotton. Edit
motesCan be either fuzzy (immature seeds on which fiber development ceased at an early stage) or bearded (a piece of seed coat with long fibers attached). Both are often termed seed coat neps. Edit
New York Cotton ExchangeThe New York Cotton Exchange (NYCE®) was founded by cotton brokers and merchants in 1870. It is the oldest futures exchange in New York. Edit
OpeningThe process of separating fibers from the pressed bale. Edit
optionUnder the terms of an option contract, a buyer has the right to buy or sell a futures (or other) contract, at a specific price within a set period of time. The contract price is not dependent on the current market price for the contract item. The buyer is under no obligation to fulfill the contract. Edit
organic cottonOrganically grown cotton uses crop rotation, beneficial insects, compost and other farming methods in place of chemical fertilizers and intensive farming techniques. Edit
pickera machine which harvests only the mature lint-with-seed (known as seed cotton). A revolving spindle penetrates the cotton plant and winds the seed cotton from the opened boll and carries it into a dropping zone inside the machine. Edit
pima cottonLong staple cotton variety. Edit
pressleymeasurement of fiber strength Edit
rain grown cottoncotton grown using mainly water provided by the natural cycle of rainfall rather than artificial irrigation. Also known as dry land cotton. Edit
ratoon cottoncrop that is cut back or cropped and is left to grow again for another season. Edit
seed cottonUnginned, picked cotton. Edit
Slyver (sly-ver)A soft untwisted rope of cotton fibers formed after they have been cleaned and straightened at the textile mill. Edit
squarethe flower buds that appear on the cotton plant about 2 months after planting. Edit
stapleCotton fiber considered with regard to its length and fineness.
short staple: less than 25 mm
medium staple: 25 to 30 mm
long staple: 30 to 37 mm
extra long staple: 37mm and above
Edit
strippera machine designed for pulling (stripping) the entire ripe cotton bolls from the cotton plant. At the cotton gin, the hulls, seeds, and lint are separated. Edit
tareThe weight of wrapping bands or wires used to cover cotton bales. Edit
Texas Boll Weevil Eradication FoundationTexas Department of Agriculture program funded by the cotton check-off program to eliminate the boll weevil pest from the state of Texas. Edit
Transgenic cottonA cotton variety genetically altered by the addition of genetic material (DNA) from another variety. Edit
trashthe leaf content of ginned lint Edit
upland cottonOriginally used to refer to cotton grown on raised lands not prone to flooding. Now refers to short and medium staple cottons. Edit

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