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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    What to Know: Sudden Death Syndrome and Brown Stem Rot

    July 05, 2017

    Posted by Todd Schomburg in Crop Management

    What to Know: Sudden Death Syndrome and Brown Stem Rot
    Because sudden death syndrome (SDS) and brown stem rot (BSR) continue to spread throughout the Midwest each year, now is a critical time to scout for signs of these diseases in your soybean fields. In Region 4, which covers northwestern Iowa and parts of Nebraska, SDS in particular was a big issue the last couple years, which means growers need to look for it again this year. Here’s what you need to know about SDS and BSR.

    SDS
    Plants typically become infected with SDS in the spring, a few weeks after planting; however, symptoms of the disease may not be detectible until late July or early August. Some of the symptoms can include discolored patches (often times yellow) on the leaves between the veins, leaves dropping prematurely, root rot, blue mold-like spots on the taproot, late-developing pods and smaller-than-normal seeds, which ultimately lead to reduced yield.

    If you think you’ve detected SDS, contact your Stine regional sales agronomist to help confirm the disease. If SDS is confirmed, there really isn’t anything you can do for it this year, but in future years, there are preventive measures you can take to lessen the risk for SDS returning. Choosing soybean varieties that are SDS tolerant and seed treatments that are effective against the disease are options to discuss with your RSA. You’ll also want to take note of the problem areas so you can track those spots again next year. Typically, if SDS returns, it shows up in the same place each year.

    BSR
    BSR has a lot of similar symptoms to SDS, including leaf discoloration, decreased pods and smaller seeds. However, to determine if your fields have BSR or SDS, you need to split open the root and see if the pith and stem are brown or white. If it’s brown, then it’s likely BSR, if it’s white, then it’s probably SDS.  

    In addition to selecting varieties that are BSR tolerant and using seed treatments, growers can find some relief from the disease through crop rotation, including multiple years of corn on corn, and tillage.

    For more information on how to detect and prevent SDS and BSR from occurring in your fields, talk to your regional sales agronomist.

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    Update from the Mid-South and Delta Region

    June 28, 2017

    Posted by Kevin Ryan in Crop Management

    If there is one thing I have learned from being involved with corn and soybean planting over the past 39 years, it’s the fact that every year is different. Every year brings new challenges and opportunities, but the one constant is change. Learning from each year helps to accept what each new crop brings and helps our decision-making based on past experience. Certainly, 2017 is no exception.

    Region 14 (mid-South and Delta) experienced some of everything this spring. From flooding and heavy rains to areas with little rain until recently. Fortunately, all is not lost because we had some corn planting opportunity at the end of March and beginning of April. Much of that corn is starting to tassel, and some of the early hybrids (92–100 day) have actually started pollinating and beginning grain fill. Much of the normal maturity corn (110–118 day) is near tasseling and should be receiving final shots of nitrogen. Many growers are again commenting on Stine® HP Corn® and the fact that these Stine hybrids look very good this year. Flowering seems to be earlier than competitive hybrids, which should help us with cooler nights during grain fill. There continues to be more and more interest in high-population, narrow-row corn. Mississippi State University even has some narrow-row plots this year. Stine’s unique HP Corn hybrids appear to be doing extremely well compared to our many competitors. The key to corn yields now will be to get the last application of nitrogen on at pre-tassel and continue to monitor for foliar disease. One of the drawbacks of a wet spring can be poor root development. Growers also need to monitor those roots and remember that the shorter stature and lower ear placement of HP Corn could have a huge payoff at harvest time.

    Soybean planting is widely varied throughout Region 14. Most of central and southern Arkansas and the state of Mississippi are finished with soybean planting. West Tennessee and northeast Arkansas still have a way to go before finishing up due to heavy and consistent rains and some severe flooding. The wheat crop is ready for harvest if it would just dry up so we can get in the field. We are expecting quite a few more LibertyLink® soybeans to be planted behind wheat acres this year. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans increased in market share this year, but demand may be down on wheat acres because of some weed control issues that dicamba has not been able to control and then there is the increased awareness of drift concerns. We are looking forward to new soybean varieties, including Balance GT and Enlist E3. Every year we see more and more concern with glyphosate-resistant pigweeds.

    As always, growers should look for yield first to choose varieties for planting. Stine has unique access to all soybean trait technologies and continues to be a leader in creating unique, new soybean genetics right here in the mid-South.

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    Stine Seasonal Employees Ready for a Busy Summer

    June 20, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    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!