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.
Summer is officially here, which means it’s time for Stine’s seasonal employees to come on board. Each year, Stine hires seasonal employees to help work on the Stine seed corn nursery in Adel, Iowa. Stine anticipates hiring around 400 seasonal employees this summer, many of which will work as seed corn detasselers. Most of these hires are recruited from local communities.
Seed corn detasseling typically begins in late June or early July and lasts between three to six weeks, depending on multiple factors, including the weather. Seed corn detasselers will detassel more than 4,300 acres of seed corn. That’s a lot of ground to cover in six weeks, but their hard work will not go unnoticed. Stine’s seasonal employees can make a couple thousand dollars for approximately a month’s worth of work. Not a bad way to save money for college. Parents — take note for next year!
Please join us in welcoming this year’s seasonal employees!
It’s the time of year when we need to start scouting for soybean white mold. Here are some of the signs I look for when scouting for white mold along with some suggestions on how to prevent the disease from becoming a problem in your fields.
Detection First, as you're walking your fields throughout June and July, look for trumpet-like structures called apothecia on the soil surface just before the soybean plants are starting to flower. Initial infection typically takes place at this time as the apothecia produce spores that enter the soybean through the flowers of the plant.
To confirm a white mold infection, look for the fungal bodies early and then scout for cotton-like growth on the stems of the plant called fungal mycelium. Another way to determine if a plant may be infected is to look at the top of the plant for leaves that have started to wilt and or fall off prematurely.
The fungal bodies that cause white mold are very similar to other mushrooms in that they thrive in dark, damp and cool environments. So, any time you have a soybean field that quickly canopies creating this type of microclimate within its canopy, the field is at a greater risk for developing the disease. For this reason, white mold usually appears in the most productive areas of the field where the soybeans put on a lot of vegetative growth and canopy the row earlier in the growing season.
Prevention If white mold affects your fields this summer, there are a number of fungicide (applied around R1) and herbicide options on the market that can be utilized to destroy the fungal bodies and help impede the white mold spores from entering the plant.
In my opinion, the best management strategy is prevention. First, select a variety that has a good white mold rating such as Stine 20RD20s or Stine 21LH02s. Second, since white mold thrives in cool, damp and dark conditions, plant your soybeans in 30-inch rows to allow air movement up and down the rows and sunlight to penetrate the ground. This will help burn up the fungal bodies longer into the season can help delay or even prevent early infection. Third, the higher the planting population, the sooner a field canopies. So, lowering planting population may be a viable option to help delay infection. Fourth, rotate to a no-host crop such as corn or small grains. Lastly, harvest infected fields last to help prevent spread of the disease via equipment.
Stine® 9202-G brand corn is new to Stine’s lineup in 2017 and is already proving to be a popular choice for growers seeking a dependable option for their refuge acres. Here’s why:
Stine 9202-G brand corn is an 85–87-day relative maturity corn, which makes it a great choice for growers who want to get their non-Bt refuge acres planted and up early in the season.
Stine 9202-G brand corn contains the Agrisure® GT trait, which provides tolerance to in-crop applications of glyphosate-based herbicides, helping tackle tough weeds while allowing growers the freedom to choose their preferred glyphosate brand.
Combined with Stine’s high-yielding genetics, Stine 9202-G brand corn develops excellent stalks and roots for proven standability.
Stine 9202-G brand corn features good stress tolerance, so it adapts well from north to south. It also boasts tolerance to northern corn leaf blight.