Wireless tracking of cotton modules. Part 1: Automatic message triggering

A. J. Sjolander, J. A. Thomasson, R. Sui, Y. Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The ability to map profit across a cotton field would enable producers to determine where money is being made or lost on their farms and to implement precise field management practices to facilitate the highest return possible on each portion of a field. Mapping profit requires knowledge of site-specific costs and revenues, including yield and price. Price varies site-specifically because fiber quality varies, so mapping fiber quality is an important component of profit mapping. To map fiber quality, the harvest location of individual cotton bales must be known, and thus a system to track the harvest location of cotton modules must be available. To this end, a wireless module-tracking system was recently developed, but automation of the system is required before it will find practical use on the farm. In Part 1 of this report, research to develop automatic triggering of wireless messages is described. In Part 2, research to enable the system to function with multiple harvesting machines of the same type in the same field - a common situation in commercial cotton farming - is described along with testing of the entire automated wireless module-tracking system. To automate wireless-message triggering, a sensing and control system was added to a harvester to indicate when the machine is dumping a basket load of cotton so that wireless messages can be automatically sent from the harvester to subsequent field machines. This automated system was incorporated into the existing wireless module-tracking system, field tested, and it ultimately operated as designed, without human intervention. Linking data collected with this system together with cotton classing data enabled the creation of fiber-quality maps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cotton
  • Fiber quality
  • Fiber-quality mapping
  • GPS
  • Precision agriculture
  • Profit mapping
  • Wireless
  • Yield mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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