Friday, December 9, 2022

Alabama Family Farm Sets High Standards For Success

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Walt Corcoran grows cotton, peanuts and corn with his son-in-law, Cody Young, at Liikatchka Plantation near Eufaula, Alabama. The Barbour County operation is a family farm that not only nurtures the crops but also the people who appreciate the lifestyle it provides.

“My daddy, Sonny Corcoran, moved here when he was 13, and I grew up scouting cotton and working with him on the farm,” Corcoran says. “After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in agronomy, I came back in 1983 and have been farming here ever since. Today, Liikatchka Plantation operates as a family partnership.”

Young came on board a few years after he married Corcoran’s daughter and says he enjoys the diversity each new day brings.

“Farming changes all the time, so you have to love it, or you will get left behind,” Young says. “It’s as simple as that.”

In Barbour County, Alabama, Walt Corcoran (left) and his son-in-law, Cody Young, grow cotton, peanuts and corn.

Well-Rounded Variety Choices

In 2021, several PhytoGen® brand varieties made up the roster for the farm’s 3,000 acres of mostly dryland cotton.
All the PhytoGen W3FE varieties are resistant to bacterial blight and have WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection. They also are tolerant to Enlist® herbicides, glufosinate and glyphosate for flexible, effective weed control options. 

“When choosing varieties, we are looking for yield and quality,” Corcoran says. “We also look at the way a variety comes up and the way it grows.

“We’ve hardly had to replant anything in the past several years since we’ve been growing PhytoGen. We like PhytoGen’s early season vigor. If you don’t have that, you are not going to have the yields. It’s all tied together.”

In fields where Corcoran and Young have high levels of root-knot nematode, they grew PhytoGen varieties with root-knot nematode resistance.

“The technology worked really well in those bad nematode fields,” Corcoran says.

PHY 411 W3FE Advances In 2022

As PhytoGen Horizon Network collaborators, Corcoran and Young trialed the new PHY 411 W3FE in 2021. The widely
adapted, mid-season variety is commercially available for
the 2022 season. It features PhytoGen Breeding Traits for
bacterial blight resistance and both root-knot nematode and reniform nematode resistance.

“PHY 411 W3FE grew well, had good vigor and didn’t give up,” Young says. “We had a little spell of boll rot during the season, and this variety didn’t seem to be affected by it too much. I like that about it. PHY 411 W3FE yielded well, and the quality appeared to be good although I don’t have all the bale data back yet.”

Enlist Weed Control System

Corcoran and Young were early adopters of the Enlist weed control system and have successfully used it for several years. 

“The main thing we like about the Enlist system is how well it fits with our peanut crop,” Corcoran says. “We don’t have to worry about cross contamination on our cotton crop from the 2,4-DB herbicides sprayed on peanuts, and Enlist is easy to wash out of the tank.”

Young says pigweed is the primary pest they target with the Enlist system.

“We make an Enlist application with the hi-boy when the weeds are less than four inches high, and then follow up a week to 10 days later with an application of glufosinate, which is a contact herbicide,” Young says.

A Plan For The Future

Corcoran and Young say they like to plant several cotton varieties to avoid putting “all of their eggs in one basket.”

“Four hundred acres is the max we will plant to a new variety,” Young says. “If it does well, we can expand those acres the next year. This year, we will grow PHY 580 W3FE, PHY 411 W3FE, PHY 390 W3FE and some PHY 443 W3FE.”

Both men agree it’s important to make the farm better for the next generation. 

“That’s what it’s all about,” Corcoran says. “We want to be profitable so the family can continue to have this way of life.”

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