The cotton industry has been an integral part of U.S. agriculture
for more than two centuries. Cotton, America's Food and Fiber Crop, has
expanded into new markets for lint as well as for food and feed products
from the cottonseed as technology and processing innovations have been
utilized. Cottonseed feed products have been used for the feeding of
livestock for more than 150 years. This guide provides official
definitions, product descriptions, and nutrient composition data for
cottonseed feed products.
Cottonseed ~ Meal ~ Hulls
Cottonseed Meal, Cottonseed Hulls and Whole Cottonseed are natural
sources of protein, fiber and energy. Cottonseed meal is the most abundant
plant protein feed available throughout the U.S., after soybean meal. It
can be used in both ruminant and monogastric rations. Cottonseed hulls are
a valuable source of roughage for ruminant feeds and fiber for monogastric
rations. Whole and delinted cottonseed are concentrated sources of protein
and energy for ruminant rations. An understanding of the various
characteristics of these feeds can assist astute buyers in selecting those
products which best meet their animal's requirements and thereby gain the
most for each dollar invested in feedstuffs. Basic physical
characteristics are given in Table 1. Nutritional values are provided in
Tables 2, 3, and 4.
Products described are traded under National Cottonseed Products
Association (NCPA) Trading Rules and are subject to state feed control
regulations as described by the Association of American Feed Control
Officials (AAFCO) in their Official Publication.
Basic Handling Properties of Cottonseed and Cottonseed
Loose on Conveyor
<24 feet deep
Cottonseed Meal is normally sold as
a 41% protein product but is available as 35% cottonseed cake, 38% and 44%
protein meals. They contain over 1% phosphorus and 70-80% TDN. Cottonseed
meal is an excellent source of protein for a variety of animal species.
Meals are often further processed into pellets of varying size (1/4",
3/8",1/2", 3/4" and 7/8") depending on the
application. Cottonseed meal can be used alone in many diets or in
combination with other plant and animal protein sources to complete a
balanced ration. The characteristics of a particular meal are largely
determined by the type of oil extraction process from which the meal was
derived - mechanical (screwpress) or expander solvent extraction.
AAFCO defines Cottonseed Meal, Mechanical Extracted, as the
product obtained by ft'nely grinding the cake which remains after removal
of most of the oil from cottonseed by a mechanical extraction process. It
must contain not less than 36% crude protein. The words "mechanical
extracted" are not required when listing as an ingredient in a
Most of the mechanical extracted meal is screwpress meal. It is
obtained when dehulled, cooked, flaked, cottonseed kernels are subjected
to high pressure by a revolving screw inside a barrel which forces out the
oil through small openings in the barrel. The de-oiled cake which remains
moves out the end of the barrel and is ground into meal.
AAFCO defines Cottonseed Meal, Solvent Extracted, as the
product obtained by finely grinding the flakes which remain after removal
of most of the oil from cottonseed by a solvent extraction process. It
must contain not less than 36% crude protein. The words "solvent
extracted" are not required when listing as an ingredient in a
Cottonseed meal solvent extracted is produced by forcing the cottonseed
kernel initially through an expander and then using solvent to extract
most of the oil. Most cottonseed meal produced in the U.S. today is
manufactured using this process (see figure below). This method utilizing
an expander helps to increase production efficiency as well as binding
much of the free gossypol found in cottonseed meal.
Solvent extracted meals normally have a minimum fat content of 0.5%
while mechanical meals usually have a minimum of 2.0%. Maximum fiber
levels for 36, 41 and 43% protein meals are 17,14 and 13% respectively.
Descriptions of quality include: Prime Quality - must be free of mold,
excess lint, and sour, musty, or burnt odors; Off Quality - shall be that
which does not meet the prime quality requirements (AAFCO definition).
Cottonseed Hulls are the
outer covering of the cottonseed and are separated from the kernel
prior to the oil extraction process. Cottonseed hulls contain 3-8%
highly digestible cotton linters (nearly 100% cellulose).
Cottonseed hulls are an exceptional roughage with a high level of
effective fiber and are very palatable. They are commonly used in
feedlot and dairy rations since they require no grinding and mix
well with other feed ingredients. They can be pelleted for ease of
handling and to lower transportation cost. Cottonseed hulls are
comparable in nutritive value to good quality grass hay and are
valuable digestive aides to concentrate rations. They can also
serve to limit intake of concentrate when feeding on pasture.
Linted Cottonseed, often referred
to as "fuzzy seed" or "whole cottonseed" is the seed
left after ginning the long fibers from upland varieties of cotton. The
short fibers remaining on the seed are called linters and are a source of
readily digestible cellulose for ruminants. The amount of linters left on
the seed varies from 4-8%. Whole linted cottonseed contain approximately
18% ether extract and about 20% crude protein on an as fed basis. Whole
cottonseed is a source of protein, energy and fiber for ruminant animals.
Pima Cottonseed is the seed from
pima varieties of extra long staple cotton. Pima seed is naturally devoid
Delinted Cottonseed is seed which
has been processed to remove the linters. Most delinted seed uses a
mechanical method for removing linters which usually leaves about 1-2%
residual linters on the seeds. Acid delinting is a chemical process which
removes all linters and is used for the preparation of planting seed.
Caution should be exercised when accepting cull planting seed for feeding.
Verification that no seed treatment chemicals are present should be
obtained before using cull planting seed for feed. Utilization of both
pima and acid-delinted seed can be improved by rolling or cracking before
feeding. Delinting increases nutrient density and flowability of the
Gossypol is a pigment found naturally in many
gossypium species including cotton and is located in glands
throughout the plant. Gossypol is in the free state in the whole seed and
is bound to lysine or other components during processing into meal.
Gossypol bound in this way has generally been considered unavailable to
the animal. Animal sensitivity to gossypol is considerably different
between species and classes of animals. The amount of free gossypol has
been the guide used by many nutritionists to make recommendations on
feeding of cottonseed products. Table 2. contains representative values
for gossypol in various cottonseed products.
data and figures are provided here for informational use only and are not
intended as recommendations. If unsure how cottonseed feed products will
work into specific rations contact a qualified nutritionist.
Nutrient Composition Of Cottonseed Feed Products on a Dry Matter Basis
ME CSM=mechanical extracted cottonseed meal; ES CSM=expander solvent
cottonseed meal; WCS=whole cottonseed;DCS=delinted
|Dry Matter, %
|Crude Protein, %
|Acid Detergent Fiber, %
|Neutral Detergent Fiber, %
|Crude Fiber, %
|Ether Extract, %
* To convert the above information to As Fed
basis, multiply nutrient by Dry
Matter Value and divide by 100(e.g. ME CSM Crude protein as fed = 46.1 x
92,3 ÷ 100 = 42.55
Amino Acids fg
|Aspartic Acid, %
|Glutamic Acid, %
|Lysine (Total), %
Values are on a 100% dry matter basis for 83 samples collected
at 31 cottonseed oil mills during 1993-95.
b Values from Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. 1989.
c Values are on a 100% dry matter basis for 83 samples
by 31 cottonseed oil mills. These were compsited to provide a
for analysis from each mill.
d Values whole
cottonseed were calculated by multiplying the % of
gossypol in decorticated seed (seed without hulls and lint) by
e Free and total
gossypol were determined by the offical method of
the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS, 1985a, 1985b).
f Amino Acid % on
100% dry matter basis.
g Amino Acid analysis are based on sample form 2 mils for ME
and 15 mills for ES CSM.