Eighteen years flies by when you’re out in the field having the time of your life with good friends. That’s how long Stine growers Dwane Koch, Dean Fritz and Wayne Wenthe have farmed together near Hawkeye, Iowa.
“About 18 years ago, we formed a gentleman's agreement partnership that took us up to around 2,200 acres or so. We've been farming that way ever since.”
For Dwane, the youngest of the three farmers, he couldn’t be happier with his partners and their long-standing business.
“Dean and Wayne took a chance with me to expand their operation. They provided me with the guidance, equipment and knowledge to be successful. This was a life-changing event for me to farm more acres. I feel blessed, and I hope to pay it forward someday.”
Of their total operation, about 60–70 percent of their acres are reserved for Stine corn hybrids and soybean varieties each year, a transition they made eight years ago when Wayne learned that his good friend Tony Pleggenkuhle worked for Stine. Tony is now their regional sales agronomist alongside Mick Kane, who serves as an independent sales rep for Stine.
“The relationship that you have with your seed rep needs to be professional, which it is, but it’s also social. When Tony or Mick come around, we can sit down and have a lot of laughs, and then we can get serious about seed. They’re just a good group of guys,” Dwane noted.
But these close relationships with their sales reps aren’t the only things keeping them with Stine. They also enjoy the competitive prices and the performance of the company’s products.
“We like the price of Stine’s products, and we found out they yield as good or sometimes way better than what we had been planting. We usually plant some of the other brands, too, to know where we’re at, and most of the time I’d say that Stine has out yielded everything we’ve ever tried,” said Dean.
To date, they’ve had great luck with Stine corn hybrids and soybean varieties, which can be attributed in part to the outstanding plant health and disease control.
“We seldom have disease problems with the beans, and I don’t remember having any disease problems with the corn, so we like that we don’t have to worry about anything. We haven’t had ear droppage. We haven’t had any stalks tip over from root worm. We’ve just been really pleased with it,” said Dean.
“I Choose Stine for a lot of reasons. Cost per acre is important to me, and plant health is very important, and we’ve had great results there. Of course, the relationship with Tony and Mick has just been great also. Those are some of the big reasons I choose Stine, along with the yield that goes with it,” added Dwane.
While Wayne was unavailable at the time of our interview with Dean and Dwane, we were assured of his support for Stine and his trust in Tony and Mick to help provide the best products for their fields.