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The within bale repeatability of standardized instruments for testing cotton fiber produced in Africa

Lukonge E., Aboe M., Gourlot J.P., Gozé E., Hublé E.. 2011. In : Venugopalan M.V. (ed.), Balasubramanya R.H. (ed.), Kranthi Sandhya (ed.), Blaise (ed.). World Cotton Research Conference-5, Mumbai, 7-11 November 2011. Theme : Technologies for prosperity. Book of papers (Oral presentation of WCRC-5). New Delhi : Excel India Publishers, p. 500-507. World Cotton Research Conference. 5, 2011-11-07/2011-11-12, Mumbai (Inde).

Fiber length, fiber strength, micronaire, uniformity, reflectance and yellowness measured on standardized instrument for testing cotton (SITC) are often used on cotton bales produced in the world for trading purposes with full respect of agreed commercial tolerances in order to limit the frequency of claims. In Africa, almost no trading on SITC data is made because we lack the study of within-bale variability of the given characteristics to deduce sampling and testing protocols insuring the respect of the same agreed commercial tolerances. We then conducted this study of the within-bale variability of fiber length and its uniformity, fiber strength, micronaire, reflectance and yellowness. We took eight samples per bale within 455 cotton bales produced in 14 African countries during two crop seasons. Our representative sample is then composed of over 3640 fiber samples which were analyzed in controlled conditions by SITC in a laboratory fully respecting the international recommendations. We then achieved an estimation of the within-bale variability of cotton fiber technological characteristics in most of the African cotton producing countries. The results indicated the variability per country, per bale in some situations and it was noted that even the gins (saw and roller) have also some effects in relation to within bale variability.

Mots-clés : fibre végétale; coton; afrique; fibre de coton

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