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For long-time cotton farmers Tim and Tye Tindall, corn has added a new dimension to their Mississippi farming operation.“We’re striving to get on a half-and-half cotton/corn rotation," says Tim Tindall. "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.”
GM varieties working well
“We had tremendous worm pressure in August,” Tim says, “with as high as 80 percent egg lays. But, survival was only 1 percent to 2 percent, so the Bt gene really did its job. We also had some plant bug trouble in some areas near corn, but unlike some places in the Delta we still can control the pest with applications of generic Trimax.
“Weeds are pretty much taken care of with the Roundup application and thus far we’ve not seen any indications of resistant pigweed.
“We have 4-row John Deere 9965 cotton pickers and Deere 9600 combines. Most of our equipment we’ve bought used at farm auctions or from individuals. We don’t miss many auctions, from Missouri and Illinois on the north to Louisiana on the south. We do most of our own shop work, with some part-time help.
‘We have two full-time workers and during the harvest we’ll have some seasonal employees.”
They take their cotton to Doolittle Gin at Cadaretta, Miss., and market it through Gullette Cotton at Greenwood, Miss., and V&M Cotton Company at Yazoo City, Miss. Scouting and soil fertility testing is done by McKibben Ag Services at Mathiston, Miss.
About half their crop land is owned and half rented.
“We’d like to increase a bit to about 2,000 acres,” Tim says. “That would allow us to have a more efficient rotation program. But renting land hereabouts is pretty competitive, particularly by sweet potato growers — this area is a major production region for that crop — so I don’t see much prospects for us to expand right now.
“From time to time, we’ll swap out fields with sweet potato growers in order to get the rotational benefit. Sweet potatoes are a really good rotation crop.”
They operate a minimum till program. “We no-till all of our corn ground,” Tim says, “but we work up cotton ground behind corn to destroy the stalks.”