What is in this article?:
Proclaiming themselves "just country farmers," Colin Collins and his brother David, along with Colin’s son Clay, run a 1,500 acre soybean operation, plus timber land, in Union County, Miss., and in the best Jeffersonian tradition, lead lives of myriad interests, community service, neighborliness, independence, and self-sufficiency.
DAVID COLLINS, from left, his brother Colin, and Colin’s son, Clay, grow soybeans, and sometimes corn, in Union County, Miss.
Multiple varieties spread risk
They grow mostly Group IV and Group V Asgrow beans, Colin says, selecting several different varieties to spread risk. “We used to plant a lot of early Group IVs, but we had a lot of shattering, and they didn’t hold up as long in the field if we had weather delays at harvest. Our dealer is Morris Farm Supply — they’re good folks to work with.
“We’ve been in continuous soybeans for 14 years now, and we’re overdue to start some rotation with corn. But right now we don’t have a corn planter, since we used it to build the 15-row soybean planter.”
They used to grow some milo from time to time as a rotation crop, Colin says, “But weather sometimes keeps us from getting it planted, and elevators don’t like to take milo when they’ve got soybeans coming in hot and heavy.”
They have 48,000 bushels of bin storage and will hold a portion of the crop to sell in the spring when prices are usually better than at harvest.
“That system has worked well for us,” David says. Their beans are sold through ADM and Cargill at Memphis. “We hire our trucking — we don’t have any 18-wheel rigs, but do have a hopper bottom grain trailer.”
They still do conventional tillage with a disk and do-all, he says. “We tried no-till a few years, but it just didn’t do well for us. On some fields, we were able to increase yields, but on others we had trouble getting a stand, and eventually got a hardpan buildup.
“After burndown with Roundup and 2,4-D, we’ll disk twice, run the do-all, and plant on 20-inch rows. After emergence of the crop and the first flush of weeds, morningglories force us to tank mix Resource with Roundup. We spend more money on Resource than Roundup.
“Two sprayings that include Resource give us perfect control,” David says, “but morningglories are a perpetual problem because river overflows always bring in new seed.
“Wild garlic has been giving us fits during harvest. So this year, we’re adding 2,4-D at burndown to suppress it. The only other Roundup resistance we’ve had so far is with marestail in a few fields. We’re on the verge of needing to apply pre-emerge to control it.”