Maybe the next shortage will be cotton. That seems possible with reports released Monday showing that the number of U.S. acres planted in cotton is at the lowest level in 25 years.

You can’t blame farmers. They see the higher prices paid for corn and soybeans and they are switching to these more lucrative plots. Friends driving through Mississippi have reported that those magnificent views of the broad, flat Delta are being blocked by towering fields of corn.

The decline in cotton acreage will reverberate through rural communities. Some cotton gins in Louisiana haven’t opened. In Mississippi, the number of gins dropped from 89 to 80 last year.

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