Mature cotton field, Cherokee County
As the title says, this is a photo of a cotton field, in Cherokee County, South Carolina, USA. Cotton, Gossypium, at one time was probably the most important crop in South Carolina, and in nearby states, but no longer. The white material is cotton fibers, which surround the seeds. Cotton fibers are used in making cloth. In South Carolina, cotton fields are quite rare. This one, and a couple of nearby fields, are the only ones we have seen in South Carolina this year.
For more information on cotton, see Artista's comment, below.
I don't know why this field hadn't been harvested already. Almost all of the bolls had opened, although a few hadn't. For a close-up view of an unopened cotton boll, see here.
I suggest looking at the larger sizes. Here's a close-up shot of a cotton boll from this field.
Here's a shot of a cotton flower, in a different cotton field in South Carolina: www.flickr.com/photos/martinlabar/6331509132/