From the L.A. Times:

King Cotton is back.

More than a decade after the state's "white gold" crop started losing its luster, booming commodity prices have farmers cashing in on growing export demands — and have turned great swaths of Central California a snowy white during harvest season.

Cotton-picking machines chug across old vegetable fields, former vineyards and land long fallow. Stacks of Pima cotton, as long as a semitrailer, stand row upon row as far as the eye can see, waiting to be shipped to mills and turned into Jockey underwear, Fieldcrest towels or L.L. Bean shirts.

The bits of white debris dusting the sky and lying on the side of the road, lost on the drive from field to port, hardly seem a blight. Instead, in towns such as Huron, Lemoore and Firebaugh where joblessness has soared, they are signs of hope returned.

Cotton's sudden boom raises specter of a bust