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. 

  • Amanda Oberg Image

    Get in the Habit of Fall Soil Sampling

    November 01, 2016

    Posted by Amanda Oberg in Crop Management

    Our corn and soybean plants depend on the soil to provide adequate nutrients to grow and provide maximum yield. As growers and agronomists, we must manage that soil balance to maximize growth and profitability. This is why one of the best crop management practices we can do is soil sampling. Soil tests are inexpensive and measure the pH and nutrient components of your soil. Having this information is beneficial for making economical and environmentally responsible nutrient and fertilizer application decisions. The first step to a successful 2017 begins with testing your soil now.

    Although many nutrients, such as phosphorous and potassium, can be tested at any time of the year, we also need to take a close look at pH and buffer pH. Fall sampling allows you to do this and to reflect on the previous season while it’s still fresh on the mind to address any shortfalls you may have had. Keep in mind that you do not want your fall test values to fall short of mid-range. If they do, this could indicate that your nutrient levels have been completely depleted.

    Most importantly, sampling in the fall will give you dryer and better weather conditions as well as ample time to process and make your nutrient application decisions. Heavy spreader trucks in the spring increase compaction and shorten your window of application opportunities. Moving forward, whether you sample in the spring or fall, the main takeaway is to sample when you have time to do a good job and to make sure you do it at the same time every year to maximize your consistency.

    The reliability of a soil test is only as good as the sample you submit. Some helpful tips include:

    • Use a grid/zig-zag pattern, draw a map and label where your samples were taken.
    • 10–15 cores per sample for every 2.5 acres.
    • As far as depth is concerned, use 6–8 inches in tilled soil and 3–4 inches in no-tilled ground.
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    Harvest Roundup

    October 17, 2016

    Posted by Stine Seed in Harvest

    Region 3 (southern South Dakota, northern Nebraska, southwestern Minnesota)

    RSA Tony Lenz

    Region 3 has had very good yields for soybeans. In Minnesota, early maturity beans, such as 1.3 to late group 1 beans, are beating the group 2 beans. We’ve also seen very high yields from our early maturity Stine® LibertyLink® soybeans. As far as Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans, yields on Stine 19RF32 brand have been outstanding in South Dakota and Minnesota.

    Without a killing frost in my region, the later maturities have been tough to combine, especially with wet conditions throughout the area. Some areas in southern South Dakota that were planted in early June won’t be harvested for a while.

    Corn harvest has just begun in Region 3, so yields have been slow to come in. We are seeing very good standability from our hybrids, and many fields are drying down nicely, so those fields should come out fast.   


    Region 5 (southern Nebraska, northeastern Colorado, southwestern Iowa and central Kansas)

    RSA Chad Kuehl

    Harvest is moving along in Region 5, with most finishing soybeans in the next 7–10 days. We're seeing some very good soybean yields with LibertyLink and Roundup soybeans. On the LibertyLink side, we're seeing good things from Stine 31LE32 brand and 36LE32 brand. With Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, Stine 29RE22 brand has been very good as usual, and we're seeing very good data on Stine 27RI02 brand, which is new for 2017.

    When it comes to corn harvest, we're seeing some good yields where we had rain. In some parts of Nebraska, it was a really dry year so yields are lower than they have been in the past. We were able to harvest some of the new corn numbers, and Stine 9734E-20, 9739E-20, 9734-0 and 9638-0 stand out. We still have a lot of corn to come out, so we look forward to collecting more information to share with everyone. 


    Region 7 (eastern Iowa, northeastern Missouri)

    RSA John Furlong

    It’s still early for corn, but we’re seeing some good yields coming in from what has been harvested. More growers are harvesting soybeans right now. Stine LibertyLink soybeans are doing great! We had a plot in the 2.4–3.2 maturity range where LibertyLink out yielded Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yieldsoybeans by 8 plus bushels per acre in a side-by-side comparison. The fields were also cleaner!

    Region 8 (north central Missouri)

    RSA Mike Eckels

    Region 8 is about 70 percent done harvesting corn, with yields doing pretty well for the inclement weather we’ve had. Farmers who applied late-season nitrogen and used fungicide and insecticide applications are really seeing the benefits this year. With test plots starting to come out, we’re excited to see how the new Stine HP Corn® hybrids compare to the more seasoned hybrids.

    On the bean side, around 25 percent are harvested. The LibertyLink program is still doing a very good job keeping the fields clean. Stine 38LEO2 brand, 40LF23 brand and 42LH22 brand are some of the LibertyLink soybeans that are yielding well.


    Region 17 (central Indiana, west central Ohio)

    RSA Doug Score

    With corn harvest about 25 percent complete, yields in Region 17 seem to be falling short of our initial expectations. Most of the preharvest estimates were 10–15 percent higher than actual yields. Most growers’ yields are good, but they’re not what they originally anticipated. Four issues to blame for average yields are:

    1. Higher overnight temps, which didn’t allow the corn a break from transpiration. 
    2. Lack of moisture following pollination.
    3. Southern rust and anthracnose top dieback in the southern part of the region. Those who sprayed fungicides showed a substantial yield advantage over the untreated acres with southern rust. Fungicides applied (with control of anthracnose) at V5 were more effective than those sprayed at VT for the anthracnose top dieback.  
    4. Stalk and ear rot. Anthracnose stalk rot is the most common disease affecting corn standability as of late. Many growers see the importance of a speedy harvest this year because of the compromised stalks thought out the region. Diplodia and gibberella ear rot have also been a nuisance this harvest season. To add fuel to the fire, growers are experiencing price docks for grain damage and vomitoxin levels in some areas from ear rot.

    That being said, with bean harvest 65 percent complete, yields have been coming in well above everyone’s expectations, likely because of adequate moisture late in the season. Our LibertyLink soybean lineup has been untouchable; growers are enjoying clean fields and exceptional yields. Stine 28LF32, 31LE32, 33LI32, 36LE32 and 38LE02 brand have all been top performers.

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    2017 Planning Season Starts Now

    October 10, 2016

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    Harvest is well underway in the majority of the country, and while it’s a busy time for all growers, it’s important to not lose sight of the upcoming year. The 2017 planting season will be here before you know it. Use this time in the combine to reflect on what went wrong and what went right in 2016 and how that information can help you grow better, stronger crops in 2017.

    One thing to consider is insect and disease pressure. If either of these stressors affected your fields this year, it might be time to consider seed treatments or possibly a different hybrid or variety for next year. Or maybe you need to switch herbicides. Scout and take note of problem areas this fall so that you can remember those areas and create a proactive plan for those acres in 2017. Also look for other factors that affect yield, including standability, ear size, , drydown, stalk quality and overall plant health. Take notes and refer back to them when you’re selecting seed for 2017.

    Another thing to consider is soil sampling. When your crops come out, so do nutrients that were helping feed the plants all growing season. Fall is a perfect time to soil sample to figure out what nutrients your soil lacks and which nutrients need replaced before you plant next year. And now is the best time to start probing so that you’re not dealing with frozen soil later on in the season.

    One last thing to remember when planning for 2017 — don’t forget to enlist the assistance of your local Stine sales representative. Our team of sales professionals are always available to provide product and field management advice and can help you choose the right hybrids and varieties for your acres in 2017.