What is in this article?:
- Grains, peanuts edging out cotton on Mississippi operation
- Problems with resistant pigweed
- Peanuts for rotation, diversity
- Never left the farm
• “We’ve got about 1,000 acres of cotton this year,” says Josh James, who farms with his uncle, Walt Moore in Tallahatchie County, Miss. “But, we’ve cut ‘way back in favor of grains, and this year, for the first time, peanuts. Grain prices have been a factor in the cotton cutbacks, but Uncle Walt has always wanted to get more diversity into our operation, and we’ve been able to move in that direction with corn and peanuts.”
WALT MOORE, left, and Josh James, who farm in Tallahatchie County, Miss., were waiting for the remnants of Hurricane Isaac to clear out before they began defoliating cotton.
Problems with resistant pigweed
“Resistant pigweed is our biggest problem. Ignite has been fairly effective when we can get it on plants while they’re small, but once they get fairly big it just stunts them. This year, we’ve hired a crew to come in and hack them out with hoes and machetes. It’s an added expense, but we don’t want to let this weed get any worse.
“Except on pigweed, Roundup is still an effective herbicide for us. We’ve had some glyphosate-resistant ryegrass, but have been able to control it with a higher rate.”
Their picker is a Case IH CPX 620. “We tested one of the new module builder pickers last year,” Josh says, “but with our outlook for less cotton, we’re just don’t feel we can justify that kind of investment.
“It’s hard to say now what we’ll do in terms of cotton next year — a lot will depend on prices for cotton versus grains and peanuts. We’ll continue to have some cotton because we’re shareholders in Yalobusha Co-op Gin, which ginned about 20,000 bales last year. But as things stand now, I think we’ll cut back even more next year.”
Their cotton is marketed through Staplcotn and, he says, “Uncle Walt handles marketing of the other crops.”
They have 1,700 acres of soybeans this year, all late Group IV and early Group V.
“We planted Asgrow 494 Liberty Link soybeans, Pioneer 95Y10, and AgVenture 50KS, all in twin rows. This is the first year we’ve given Liberty Link beans a real try. We’ve already cut about 400 acres, and we’re really pleased with how they’re turning out.
“Under the center pivots, we’ve been cutting 60 to 65 bushels; on our dryland beans that got hit by drought we’re getting around 30 bushels.” They have Case IH 7088 combines.
For their fertility program, Josh says, “This is the fourth year we’ve been using poultry litter and it has worked really well, particularly on our sandier soils. The first year, we applied 2 tons per acre, and since then 1 ton. This year, we tried some liquid litter. With corn and cotton, we side-dress with 30-0-5 liquid nitrogen.” They base fertilization on soil tests.
Insects and diseases haven’t been much of a problem in any of their crops this year, he says. “We’ve sprayed some for plant bugs, and we’ve made a couple of insecticide applications on our peanuts. We’ve had just a tiny bit of white mold, and we made a couple of fungicide applications, mostly as a preventive measure.
“I admit I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the crop, but Uncle Walt came in one day and said, ‘I’ve just bought a digger and a combine, so I guess we’re in the peanut business.’”