Though Tim Tindall will tell you up front, “We’re cotton growers, going all the way back to my great-grandfather,” four years ago he and his brother, Tye, joined the parade to corn.

“My grandfather would be rolling over in his grave to see combines on this farm,” Tim laughs. It’s not long past sunrise on a late August morning, a thin mist hanging over the fields and a golden full moon still lingering on the western horizon, and he’s waiting for dew to dry so he can start back cutting corn.

Tim and Tye took over the Robert Tindall and Sons farming operation, located in Webster and Calhoun Counties in northeast Mississippi, after their father retired in 2004.

Though Tim quips that “you could put all I know about grains in one eye and it wouldn’t make you blink,” and they still grow the cotton that has been their heritage for decades, he says it looks like corn is going to be a part of their operation for the long haul.

“We’re striving to get on a half-and-half cotton/corn rotation. We think we’re seeing a pretty good yield increase with that program.”

And while he says “Everyone talks about cotton going to 80 cents or better, if we can get 125-bushel corn, there’s not a lot of difference money-wise — and corn is so much easier to work with.”

Another key consideration: “We bought an elevator facility last year which has a capacity of 100,000 bushels. We spent some money updating things, but even so, it was cheaper than putting up new bins of equivalent capacity.

“We applied for a grant through the Rural Energy for America program and have received approval for a dryer, which will be installed in time for our 2011 corn and soybean crops. We’re hoping this will allow us to sell our corn earlier before the market gets flooded and the basis widens.

“We market our corn through the elevator for January delivery and also book some through DeBruce Grain at Rosedale, Miss., and Ware Milling at Houston, Miss.”

The Tindalls have 715 acres of corn this year, in four different varieties: DEKALB 6806, Pioneer G96 and G97, and DEKALB 6314.