White Gold – Texas Blues
Frauke Huber, Uwe H. Martin
Lubbock in Western Texas is known as the cotton capital of the world. No other place hosts such a density of cotton fields and is more efficient. To stay competitive on the world market, US farmers in recent years reduced high labor costs with the help of genetically modified cotton, heavy machinery and chemical control of the plants. The extremely high cost of these technologies forced the farmers to grow huge or loose their business. Without the annual billion Dollar subsidies the farmers could hardly survive. These subsidies are one the main reason the world market price for cotton is pushed down below the production costs of farmers in Africa and India, resulting in bankruptcy and farmers suicides. But even with the support and farms ranging at about 8,000 acres, farmers do not get rich. One bad year can bankrupt them, because the cost for farming is constantly rising, flushing big money to seed and chemical corporations, while the selling price remains more or less the same since generations.