Meet people around the world
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The world behind a simple shirt, in five chapters. Meet people around the world can grow cotton in places where land and labor are cheap. You can grow it in places that are close to the countries — Colombia, Indonesia, Bangladesh — where the Planet Money T-shirt was made. Yet most of the cotton in the Planet Money T-shirts was grown in the U.

Here are three reasons why. Bowen Flowers, a Mississippi cotton farmer, shared some of the numbers behind his operation. Flowers’ farm also produces other crops. Some of the machinery and staff listed here also work elsewhere on the farm.

Genetically modified crops are controversial, but not among U. Roughly 90 percent of U. And when it’s time to harvest the cotton, U. Just last year, Bowen Flowers, the cotton farmer in the video, bought five John Deere 7760 pickers. They’re the size of tanks, but are finely tuned, self-driving machines that sense the cotton plant stalks and twist off just the cotton puffs.