A pound recently sold in the futures market for about $1.20, which doesn't seem that much, except that $1.198 is the highest price recorded since record-keeping began in 1870.
Memphis Cotton Brokers
Why is cotton so high in 2010? Supply and demand. Droughts that have ruined harvests in China and increasing demand from up-and-coming consumer societies nudge the prices up.
This photo is actually captioned:
"Picking cotton is one of the most easily learned occupations for women..."
Like the other period photos here it's from the collection of the Library of Congress.
I hate to inspire wide-spread panic or hoarding---but isn't that the duty of us bloggers? Don't quit your dayjobs yet. You might need some extra pocket money.