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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    2018 Stine Seed Catalog Now Available

    July 24, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    Choose performance. Choose yield. Choose Stine corn hybrids and soybean varieties in 2018. You can read about next year’s lineup in our 2018 Stine Seed Catalog, which is now available on our website.

    As evidence of our efforts to offer growers the highest-yielding genetics packaged with the most sought after trait technologies in the industry, Stine’s 2018 lineup includes 74 corn hybrids and more than 100 soybean varieties.

    Throughout the catalog, you’ll find outstanding Stine genetics that feature industry-leading traits — more than 50 Agrisure® trait options for corn, 48 LibertyLink® soybean options and 25 Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® products. With such an extensive lineup, we’re confident growers will have the trait technologies they need for their fields in 2018.

    If you have any questions regarding the catalog and our lineup, contact your local Stine sales representative.

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    Western Bean Cutworm Threatens Southern Nebraska

    July 21, 2017

    Posted by Chad Kuehl in Crop Management

    Western bean cutworms are a big issue in south central and southwestern Nebraska this year. Growers in this region have reported heavier than normal infestations and will need to apply insecticides over the next few weeks to help save yield.

    Western bean cutworms are pretty easy to detect. You can typically locate infestations by scouting for egg masses on leaves. Adult cutworms lay their eggs in June and July, so now’s a good time to scout your fields for clusters of white (or purple) eggs. If the eggs have hatched, you will want to search the upper portion of the plants for larvae. This usually occurs pre- or early tassel.  

    Once detected, many growers usually turn to pyrethroid applications. For best results, I recommend growers spray for western bean cutworm when the eggs begin to hatch. Multiple applications may be necessary to help combat cutworms. Unfortunately, if the larvae have already hatched, there’s a high risk they get inside the ears and begin to feed. Here they are protected from insecticides, so it’s important to spray early and often.

    There are, however, long-term solutions to tackling western bean cutworm. Stine® carries a number of corn hybrids that feature the Agrisure Viptera® and Agrisure Duracade® traits. These hybrids provide high-yielding genetics for broad-spectrum lepidopteran control, some of which also come with the convenience of refuge in bag.

    I recommend that growers who are experiencing problems with western bean cutworms this year reach out to their local Stine sales rep to develop a plan to help tackle the issue now and next year.

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    Japanese Beetles: A Growing Concern for Corn and Soybean Growers

    July 19, 2017

    Posted by Stefanie Ray in Crop Management

    When you’re out scouting your fields this summer, look for a small beetle with a shiny copper-colored body and a green head and thorax. These little pests are Japanese beetles, and they’re making their way across the Midwest.

    Japanese beetles can usually be found feeding on gardens, trees and shrubs, but they’re also known to pop up in corn and soybean fields. My region in Illinois has an increased infestation of Japanese beetles this year earlier than ever, causing concern for area corn and soybean growers who worry how the pests will affect yield. Here are a few things you should know about Japanese beetles and how you can treat your fields this year:

    • Japanese beetles are in the order Coleoptera and the family Scarabaeidae. The beetles start as eggs and hatch into larvae in the soil during the winter. As larvae, they moult to become C-shaped grubs. As temperatures rise in the spring, the grubs break hibernation and within four to six weeks pupate into adults.
    • Where there’s one Japanese beetle, there may be hordes of beetles nearby. Japanese beetles do not travel alone as they feed in clusters. This is a result of a pheromone the beetles emit that attracts other beetles as they feed on the leaves of plants.

    • They typically pop up around late spring/early summer. Check corn silks and leaves for signs of the insect, as well as the leaves and flowers in soybean fields. The beetles feed on these parts of the plant, which can ultimately affect pollination and yield.

    • If you don’t immediately see the beetles, their damage can often times be detected on the plant. Silk “clipping” can be spotted on corn plants, and holes in leaves or shredded (or defoliated) leaves with brown edges can be signs of the pests. In soybeans, Japanese beetles typically feed on the leaf tissue between veins, which leaves behind a lace-like skeletonized appearance.

    • If Japanese Beetles are detected, they can be controlled through insecticides such as Sevin or pyrethroid insecticides.

    • The University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences notes that the threshold of Japanese beetles in soybeans should be based on the percentage of leaf defoliation. The university recommends that treatment should be considered if 20 percent of the leaf is defoliated before bloom and pod fill and if pre-bloom soybeans have around 30 percent leaf defoliation.

    • In corn, the university recommends that insecticide treatments should be considered if silks on the plant have been clipped to half an inch or less or if pollination is less than 50 percent complete. The university also recommends treatment if more than three beetles can be found per ear. 

    For more information on Japanese beetles and how to detect and prevent these insects from robbing yield, contact your local Stine sales rep.