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. 

  • Stefanie Ray Image

    Importance of Early-Season Crop Scouting

    May 16, 2017

    Posted by Stefanie Ray in Crop Management

    Dust off your notes from 2016 and put on your walking boots. It’s time to start planning for early-season crop scouting. In many areas throughout the South and Midwest, growers are well into planting. But there’s still a lot of work to do right after planting — early-season crop scouting. Here are a few tips to get you started.

    1. Start early — earlier than you may have planned. First off, start scouting before emergence. Even if it’s not quite time for the crops to surface, something could be lurking below ground that may affect the seedlings. Below-ground insects such as seed corn maggots and wireworms can be present, and diseases such as Pytophthora root rot and Pythium root rot can be problematic before plants emerge. Areas where soil compaction may be an issue should be assessed to ensure plants aren’t having trouble emerging from the surface soil. And areas where high moisture is a concern need to be assessed to determine if replanting is necessary. Chances are if you detect these issues early, there’s still time to save your yield.
    2. Walk the fields. Whether you manage 200 or 2,000 acres, it’s far too much land to scout from the window of a pickup. Growers need to walk each field to detect problem areas. You can’t determine if you need to roll out a fungicide, insecticide or a post-emergent herbicide just by scouting the edges of your fields. Really get into those fields, dig in the dirt where certain areas may concern you and take soil samples if you need to.
    3. Once-overs won’t cut it. Crop scouting is a season-long job. Don’t expect a once-over after emergence to do the trick. I recommend growers walk their fields at least twice a week. Weeds can pop up in a matter of days which can change your yield outlook, and Mother Nature is unpredictable. Make crop scouting a weekly part of your job, all the way up to harvest.
    4. Review notes and take new ones. If you took notes from 2016, you should know what areas to check this year. Prior seedling diseases, past weed resistance issues and past insect infestations can help you develop a plan for managing your field after emergence. Scout those problem areas from 2016, and take new notes in 2017 as the season progresses. 
    5. Ask for advice. As a farmer, you have a wealth of information about agriculture at your disposal. But there’s nothing wrong with asking an agronomist for input if you struggle to pinpoint a problem area in your field or understand why your plant stand isn’t where it should be. And stay in contact with your agronomist throughout the growing season, as they likely can tell you when other growers in your region experience problems with their fields. Stine has a number of agronomists on hand, ready to answer your questions throughout the planting, growing and harvest season. Find your local Stine agronomist here.
  •  Image

    Stine® 32RF02 Brand Soybeans

    May 09, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    The Stine name is synonymous with outstanding, high-yielding soybeans. Because we have the industry’s largest breeding program, we’re consistently first to market with high-performing varieties in every maturity range that feature the traits growers want, such as Stine® 32RF02 brand soybeans.

    Stine 32RF02 brand soybeans are a 31 maturity soybean and an excellent option from our Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® lineup. They feature excellent disease and insect resistance packages, including the Rps1c gene for Phytophthora Root Rot resistance, as well as resistance to brown stem rot, stem canker and soybean cyst nematode.

    In our Stine Elite Yield Trials, Stine 32RF02 brand soybeans yielded 102.3 percent of trial average — a true testament to Stine’s high-yielding genetics. Additional features include very good emergence and standability, medium plant height and in-plant tolerance to Roundup® agricultural herbicides.

    For more information on Stine 32RF02 brand soybeans, talk to your local Stine sales rep or visit our website.

  •  Image

    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.