No more cotton in the Delta

That sounds like a blues song but it’s just an observation, of a big surprise on my recent trip down there. Most of the fields that used to have cotton, just a few years ago, now grow corn or soybeans. Rice seems to be more common too. But cotton is way down. An old cotton farmer told me all the business has gone to China.

A farmer can decide each year what to grow, so maybe cotton will come back if international market conditions change. In the meantime, it makes it tough for me to talk about the Delta in my presentations! I’m used to saying, “Imagine what the Delta would have been like back before about 1940. There would have been hundreds of people — men, women and children — out picking instead of one man driving a tractor.” But maybe I have to modify it again and say “Imagine that there were white fields filled with cotton” and show a picture.barley-used

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