As farmers move from cotton to corn, jobs are lost

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Jobs are being lost and rural economies are suffering as farmers in some parts of the U.S. switch from growing cotton to corn.

Economists estimate for every three jobs needed to produce cotton, only one is needed to grow corn or soybeans. They say it's difficult to say exactly how many jobs have been lost, but the shift is real.

Most cotton jobs are in post-production, and that's where losses have been greatest. The National Cotton Ginners Association says the number of gins in the U.S. has dropped from 835 in 2006 to an estimated 700.

Yazoo Planters Gin Co., near Yazoo City, Miss., has gone from ginning as many as 20 farmers' cotton to four.

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