"Gonna Jump Down, Spin Around, Pick a Bale of Cotton"

It has been said that the cotton plant originated in India. Cotton now grows all over the world particularly in southern regions, thriving under the hot sun where it stays sunny and warm for at least half the year.

Farmers plant cotton in the spring. When a cotton plant is about two months old, it begins to bloom. Each flower on a cotton plant is creamy white at first. Then the flower turns pink, then red. After three days it dies and the dry brown flower is pushed out on the tip of a new, green cotton "boll." A cotton boll is a seed-pod. It grows for several months. Inside the boll moist cotton fibers are forming around the cotton seed. By early fall the cotton plants are four feet tall. The bolls have popped open and the cotton fibers begin to dry and fluff out. When the cotton is ripe the plant looks as if it were covered with snowballs.

Now it's time for the farmer to pick the cotton.

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