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. 

  • John Furlong Image

    Five Ways to Cut Costs, Not Profits

    January 29, 2016

    Posted by John Furlong in Crop Management

    While grain prices remain volatile because of increased inventories, you may be considering cutting input costs going into the planting season. It’s important for growers to remain cautious about cutting corners but know that there are ways to save without sacrificing yield. Crop management is key. Here are five valuable tips to consider:

    Grid sampling: Grid sampling helps you target areas in your fields that are nutrient deprived and areas where fertilizer applications aren’t necessary. You’re able to reduce fertilizer costs with sampling by only applying nutrients where necessary versus over the entire field. When a troubled area is identified, you can target those areas to help them become more productive, whether with fertilizer or other applications.

    Variable rate fertilizing: Split application of nitrogen can help cut fertilizer costs. Applying nitrogen before the corn is planted, at planting time and then at the V5 stage meets the timeframe for when the plants really need nitrogen. It is especially important with extreme weather events and the genetics we have today that nitrogen be applied later in the season, around the V5 stage. Splitting these applications helps prevent over treating a field.

    Matching populations: Appropriately matching populations to hybrids and varieties can help stretch your dollar. Work with your trusted seed advisor and consider weather variables and field conditions that have impacted yield in the past to find the right product and spacing for your field.

    Weed control: Weed control is important in every aspect of crop management. You need to pair the right hybrid or variety with the right genetics to fight weeds that have been problematic in your fields. However, not every area of your field may require herbicide applications. Before you get in the field, do some pre-crop scouting to determine problematic areas and spray those areas only. Survey your fields throughout the growing season for troubled areas to determine where a post spray is necessary. Only spraying the problem areas will cut herbicide costs while maximizing profits.

    Reduce tillage: Save energy and fuel costs by reducing tillage. While tillage can be an option when you need to level a field or flush out weeds before you spray, seriously consider the costs associated with an extra pass around the field.

  • Kevin Ryan Image

    Rotating Modes of Action

    January 22, 2016

    Posted by Kevin Ryan in Crop Management

    Rotating modes of action in your fields is important no matter where you operate. For RSA Kevin Ryan, he sees the need for rotation every year in the Delta region of the United States. Pigweeds, for example, were once controlled with PPO inhibitors but are now experiencing PPO resistance in the Delta region. Options like LibertyLink® soybeans are quickly becoming popular down South to help fight this resistance. Kevin shares his thoughts on how rotating chemistries, and even crops, can help promote healthy fields in 2016.

  • Tony Lenz Image

    Stine LibertyLink Soybeans

    December 28, 2015

    Posted by Tony Lenz in Products

    Combined with high-yielding genetics and built-in tolerance to Liberty® herbicide, Stine LibertyLink® soybeans are becoming a popular option for growers who have experienced glyphosate-resistant weed issues with their soybean acres. RSA Tony Lenz shares his tips for weed management using the LibertyLink system to help keep your fields clean in 2016.