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Reply #129: Don't blame cotton for the way modern agriculture treats it [View All]

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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-28-07 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #63
129. Don't blame cotton for the way modern agriculture treats it
Cotton grows where nothing else will grow. Cotton is blamed for ruining soil, but it is only because it is grown on soil that nothing else will grow on. Cotton does not need fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides, just like hemp does not need them. But in modern times they both get them. Look and see how much of that hemp is organic. Usually they use fertilizers and herbicides in hemp production. Just because crops do not need them, that does not mean they are not getting them.

Cotton does not use much water compared to other irrigated crops; however for taxpayers to provide subsidized water for a crop of such low value per acre is ridiculous. For example the federal government supplies water in the San Joaquin Valley of California for a cost of about $75/acre foot to the taxpayer and $30 for the farmer. It takes 3 acre feet per acre to grow the cotton. The profit on the cotton may be $100/acre at the most. So, why are taxpayers giving these farmers $225/acre so they can make a profit of $100? Oranges or vegetables may yield profits of $500-$1000/acre. This is perhaps justifiable. Why in the world.....? My theory is that the ag chem industry is funded by the farm programs' crop subsidies. If the cotton is not growing they don't make all these profits on chemicals. The total amount of money given to farmers in the farm bill for cotton turns out to be the exact total of the cost of ag chemicals on cotton. No cheap water, no cheap crop that is subsidized enough to buy lots of chemicals. It is not the cotton plant that needs it, it is the bottom line of the ag chemical companies.

There are plenty of cotton growing regions that are not irrigated as they have sufficient summer rains to produce a crop of cotton.

The cotton fiber is very fine and it's uses are ideal for temporary items like clothing worn next to the skin that is meant to last for ten years or less. Flax and hemp are bast fibers whose preparations are costly but absolutely worth it for producing textiles that will last for hundreds of years. Flax and hemp are very similar, however hemp can be coarser.

One fiber is not better than another. Each has it's own uses. All crops have been spoiled by the ag chem industry. Even hemp. It may have less residue of insecticides, but fertilizers and herbicides are not good for the environment either.

Lets grow everything in a sustainable way and use every fiber to it's best advantage.

Thanks for the photos of the gowns that allow us appreciate the vast textile history we all share.
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