ASK THE AGRONOMIST BLOG

Stine’s Ask the Agronomist blog is your source to the latest information from our expert team, including advice and insight on field practices, product recommendations, planting and harvest updates, new technologies, crop management, innovative research and information about how to keep your farm operation running smoothly year round. 

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    Start Clean: Prevent Early-Season Weeds Now

    May 03, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    We asked our regional sales agronomists for their top advice on weed control, and their responses were resoundingly similar — “start clean.” With only 34 percent of the U.S. corn crop and 10 percent of soybeans planted this year, there’s still time to bolster your early-season weed control program in order to maximize yields.

    1. Pre-emergence herbicides: If burndown wasn’t an option for you this spring, your fields can still greatly benefit from a pre-emergence application. Pre-emergence herbicides are best used to tackle early-season weeds like kochia, lambsquarter, marestail and giant ragweed. Growers also benefit from pre-emergence herbicides as they reduce the need for post-emergence herbicides and help eliminate early-season weed competition. Pre-emergence herbicides should be applied after you plant the crop and before the plants emerge.

    2. Post-emergence herbicides: If it’s too late for a pre-emergence application, apply a post-emergence herbicide before the weeds reach above four to six inches tall. A well-known fact is that the larger a weed gets, the more difficult it is to control and kill off. And, as that weed grows, it continues to compete with plants for space and nutrients. 

    3. Residuals: Residual herbicides offer growers long-lasting weed control after initial application of the product.

    4. Multiple modes of action: Use multiple modes of action in your program. RSA Bill Kessinger likes to see growers use at least three. This helps ensure weed control and slows the spread of resistant weeds. One mode of action we see more growers turn to is LibertyLink® soybeans. LibertyLink soybeans boast high-yielding genetics and outstanding crop safety through built-in tolerance to fast-acting Liberty® herbicide. Liberty herbicide controls more than 120 broadleaf weeds and grasses, including ALS- and glyphosate-resistant weeds. And to date, there is no documented weed resistance to Liberty worldwide. 

    5. Weather: Unfortunately, Mother Nature does not always stick to the forecast. Weather delays are imminent during planting season, which can often delay your herbicide application timeline. Cold temperatures, heavy rainfall and drought-like conditions can greatly affect the effectiveness of herbicides, allowing “weed escapes,” where weeds end up populating fields when a timely post-emergence herbicide is missed because of weather delays.Think ahead so the weather doesn’t leave you behind.

    6. Scouting: Never stop scouting. Always monitor each field for new signs of weed, insect or disease infestations. This will allow you time to apply that post-emergence herbicide before overpopulation and competition for nutrients become an issue.
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    In Case You Haven’t Heard

    April 25, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Stine is growing! With a sizable increase in both our corn and soybean sales, Stine is moving forward in the seed industry, and our growth doesn’t stop there.

    As we work to introduce new genetics to the industry, we’ve significantly expanded our corn and soybean breeding programs. This expansion will help lead our efforts to new breakthroughs in corn and soybean genetics, and will further solidify our position as having the largest proprietary soybean and corn breeding programs in the United States.

    On the production side, we recently completed a much-needed expansion at our corn drying facility at our headquarters in Adel, Iowa. This expansion, which increased our capacity by nearly 40 percent, will assist our rapidly growing corn business.

    With this tremendous growth comes the need for more space. In 2016, we expanded our offices to include new facilities in neighboring Dallas Center, Iowa, just a few miles east of our headquarters in Adel. This facility is home to our soybean breeding program, quality assurance laboratories and marketing and sales department.

    To paint a better picture of how quickly our sales force has grown, 10 years ago, Stine’s sales team consisted of 67 independent sales representatives in five regions. Today, 178 independent sales representatives in 20 regions promote the brand and deliver high-yielding seed corn and soybeans to growers across the country. And that number will grow to 187 on May 1. And we’re not done yet — we’re planning to add 35 independent sales reps by the end of the year.

    Stine continues to experience unparalleled success because we continue to remain focused on what matters most to our customers — developing and delivering the highest yielding seed genetics possible.

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    Generations of Stewardship

    April 19, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    This Saturday marks the 47th annual Earth Day — a day proclaimed to celebrate planet Earth and support environmental protection around the world. Numerous initiatives take place in support of Earth Day, including marches, environmental literacy outreach and more, and we commend all who participate in these events. At Stine, we salute one group of environmental stewards in particular for their efforts not only on this day, but every day — farmers.

    As John F. Kennedy once said, There is too little public recognition of how much we all depend upon farmers as stewards of our soil, water and wildlife resources.” What many people may forget is that the environment is a farmer’s most precious resource. Without fertile soils, a farmer’s crop could not grow. And without access to Earth’s other natural resources — sunlight and rainfall, to name a few — a farmer’s crop could not flourish. The field is the farmer’s office; and it’s not an 8–5 job. Often times, they work sunrise to sunset and then some to ensure a bountiful harvest.

    Through the years farmers have developed systems and processes to effectively manage and protect the land they work. Certain environmental stewardship practices such as no-till, crop rotation, buffer strips and cover crops can help soil health by increasing nutrients and organic matter, and help protect water quality by preventing nutrient runoff. Some of these practices also help with weed and insect control, which may decrease herbicide and pesticide use.  

    Regional Sales Agronomist John Furlong knows a thing or two about best management practices when it comes to environmental stewardship. John participates in the Middle Cedar Partnership Project — an effort he joined not only as a Stine RSA but also as a landowner and grower. The project, led by the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is designed to assist conservation partners, farmers and landowners to use best management practices on land and in waterways surrounding the Cedar River Watershed. Some of the program’s conservation recommendations include planting cover crops, creating wetland and wetland easements, installing saturated buffers or bioreactors and implementing best management practices for applying nutrients.

    Several Stine employees also work with the CropLife Ambassador Network — an outreach program designed to educate grade-school students about the importance of American agriculture. We are grateful to have employees involved in such worthwhile causes that help promote and preserve the environment. At Stine, we celebrate all farmers who work tirelessly to serve as stewards of the land they work.