Old Farming Habits Leave Uzbekistan a Legacy of Salt

Salt crunches underfoot like frosty soil on this bare stretch of land in western Uzbekistan. Cotton, to be used to make a mattress, is stacked in a home. The status of Uzbekistan as the world's second-largest cotton exporter is in danger because of environmental destruction. "Thirty years ago, this was a cotton field,' said a 61-year-old farmer who has lived near this city all his life. "Now it's a salt flat.'