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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    Benefits of No-Till When Combined with the Right Genetics

    April 04, 2018

    Posted by John Furlong in Planting

    No-till farming can be beneficial for a field when used in combination with the right seed genetics. The residue left behind from previous years’ crops substantially decreases soil erosion and reduces the risk of runoff. No-till helps the soil retain nutrients and water, which contributes to the success of Stine soybean varieties and corn hybrids. This combination allows growers to potentially advance yields for their return on investment while promoting sustainability on the farm.

    Stine offers a variety of products to fit growers' no-till strategy. I recommend a few Stine varieties and hybrids that I use on my own no-till fields — Stine®31LE32 and 36LE32 brand soybeans and Stine®9529E-20 and 9734-20 brand corn.

    Stine 31LE32 and 36LE32 brand soybeans were two of Stine’s best-selling LibertyLink® soybeans in 2017. Both products have strong emergence with excellent standability. Stine 31LE32 brand soybeans feature a taller-than-average plant and are resistant to Rps1c Phytophthora root rot, brown stem rot, stem canker and SCN. The variety also has very good tolerance to charcoal rot. Stine 36LE32 brand soybeans are a sister to Stine® 38LF22 brand soybeans. They are resistant to Rps1c Phytophthora root rot, SCN, brown stem rot and stem canker. This variety also has an excellent disease package, which offers protection against sudden death syndrome, root knot nematode and charcoal rot.

    Both Stine 9529E-20 and 9734-20 brand corn have dual modes-of-action for above ground insect protection in addition to excellent roots and stalks. Both hybrids have good stress tolerance and are glyphosate and glufosinate tolerant. Stine 9734-20 brand corn has leaf disease protection, is an excellent full-season option with northern movement and is a top performer in all soil types and row configurations. Stine 9529E-20 has tolerance to northern corn leaf blight, is a great full-season option and is an early pollinator, which translates to a longer grain-fill period.

    To learn more about which Stine varieties and hybrids are suitable for your operation, including in no-till situations, contact your local Stine sales rep.

     

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    Celebrating Women in Ag: Part 2

    March 30, 2018

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Stefanie Ray, RSA

    What is your role with Stine? How long have you been with the company, and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
    I have been a regional sales agronomist for two years. I work directly with independent sales representatives to build their business. That includes account management, agronomy, organizing meetings and sales/agronomy trainings, regional programs, rewards, promotional items and team building. 

    Why is Stine a good fit for you?
    Stine is a family-owned company that puts the farmer first.

    What drew you into an occupation in agriculture?
    I grew up on a farm, and farming has always been a passion of mine since I can remember. There are no better people to work with than farmers.

    Why should women consider a career in agriculture?Agriculture is a growing industry. From farming to seed production to agronomy and more, there are many opportunities available to women in the ag industry. I work with many at Stine, and I see many women involved in farming operations when I visit customers in my region.

    What’s your one piece of advice for a woman who’s considering a role in the ag industry?
    There are many opportunities for women in agriculture, including leadership roles. My best piece of advice is don’t hesitate. Don’t hold yourself back from succeeding in an industry that welcomes women and has a variety of career opportunities to choose from.

    Maria McEnany, Soybean Research Associate

    What is your role with Stine? How long have you been with the company, and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
    I’ve been a soybean research associate for Stine’s soybean nursery group since I started in January 2015. My day-to-day responsibilities vary throughout the year. My responsibilities include helping organize and record information for our crossing blocks and other related nursery projects. This includes assisting with the setup of different aspects related to planting, tissue sampling, crossing and harvesting the seed. I am responsible for helping record all crosses that we attempt in our summer crossing blocks. Other responsibilities I have include assisting in the setup of the appropriate materials for these projects, which includes printing labels and tags for tissue/seed sampling and harvest envelopes for seed produced in the nursery trials. Reviewing seed sample results and assisting with the review of tissue sample results are two other responsibilities of my role.

    Why is Stine a good fit for you?
    When comparing the number of employees and locations that other companies have, Stine is a smaller, family-oriented company, and that is what makes it great. You’re not constantly having to deal with the restructuring of job positions, total elimination of positions or locations like with other companies that have merged together. Since I began working at Stine, the nursery group, with a couple exceptions, has stayed the same group of individuals which has given us the opportunity to get to know one another better allowing us to better function as a team. 

    What drew you into an occupation in agriculture? 
    There are several reasons that I was drawn to an occupation in agriculture. I come from a family that is very involved in the agriculture industry. My dad was an agricultural educator for 38.5 years, my mom was raised on a dairy farm and currently works for the Story County Farm Bureau and six out of seven kids in my family have chosen occupations in the agricultural industry. Participation in 4-H, FFA and the PAS Organization (Post-Secondary Agricultural Students) are all activities that helped to further my interest in agriculture through the various activities these organizations offer to their members. The majority of the jobs I had before graduating college were directly related to agriculture. I rogued and detasseled seed corn in high school. While in college, I had the opportunity to work with corn, soybeans and even rice through the various companies and groups I worked with. My overall reason for choosing an occupation in agriculture is because I have always had an interest in expanding my knowledge of plant genetics to improve crops to help meet global needs in the future.

    Why should women consider a career in agriculture? 
    Women should consider a career in agriculture because, just like any other industry out there, we need a diverse set of minds to help promote and grow the agriculture industry.

    What’s your one piece of advice for a woman who’s considering a role in the ag industry?
    My piece of advice for any woman who is currently in or interested in the ag industry is you are capable of doing anything, and never let others stop you from achieving your goals

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    Celebrating Women in Ag

    March 28, 2018

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    March marks two special celebrations for our industry — Women’s History Month and National Agriculture Week. Women serve a vital role in agriculture and are proven leaders in the field. In fact, more than 969,000 women farm in the United States, and they represent 31 percent of all farmers in the country. Women farmers operate more than 301 million acres of farmland, with an economic impact of $12.9 billion, and their influence in the industry doesn’t stop there. Whether she’s an educator, a lawyer, a scientist or a marketer, she can build a career in the agriculture industry. STEM careers also make up a number of different roles in agriculture. At Stine, for example, we have roles in our lab and seed production department that align with STEM. We also have women agronomists who serve as independent sales reps or regional sales agronomists, as well as those who are in sales support roles. At Stine, we celebrate their contribution to the ag industry and understand that our company would not be what it is today without their influence. Get to know a few of the strong, instrumental women on our team.

    And check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our Celebrating Women in Ag article as we feature more influential women of Stine.  

    Megan McEnany, Production Assistant

    What is your role with Stine? How long have you been with the company, and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
    I started working for Stine in the production department in November of 2016. My responsibilities include approving and recording corn and soybean shipments, conditioner seed transfers, invoices and settlements and working with our sales team. I am also responsible for recording and tracking wholesale and parent seed purchases for internal and external use. I assist with different aspects of our marketing and production programs, and I help organize the next season’s product lineup. I am responsible for making all the corn trait and treatment tags that are attached to our corn bags. And, when the need arises, I assist the research department with correlating data.

    Why is Stine a good fit for you?
    I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of the production department; it provides me with the opportunity to be involved and work with various parts of the company, which allows me insight and the opportunity to continue to learn about agriculture on a daily basis. One thing I like about Stine is that, in comparison to some larger seed companies, we might be considered small, but we still have a continuously growing global reach.

    What drew you into an occupation in agriculture?
    There are many reasons that I chose to pursue a career in agriculture. Both of my parents come from agriculture backgrounds; my dad was an agriculture educator for 38.5 years, and my mom grew up on a dairy farm in northeastern Iowa and is currently the Story County Farm Bureau membership coordinator. Agriculture has always been extremely important to my family. Out of seven children, including myself, six of us (five are women) have chosen careers in the ag industry. Having been involved in 4-H and FFA increased my interest in agriculture and the career opportunities that this industry has to offer. During high school, I was privately contracted to rogue and detassel seed corn fields. The summer after I graduated from high school, I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand for two months as a World Food Prize 2013 Borlaug-Ruan intern, working for the AVRDC World Vegetable Research Center. I attended Iowa State University, where I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Studies, with a minor in Agronomy. While at ISU, I worked for an on-campus greenhouse, doing research on corn, soybeans and sorghum. I also had opportunity to work as a teaching assistant in the College of Ag. Before graduating, I worked with a private central Iowa research group doing trait evaluation of corn and soybeans, tissue sampling and insect identification. All of these experiences offered me insight on the different opportunities the agriculture industry has to offer.

    Why should women consider a career in agriculture?Women should consider a career in agriculture because it offers a broad selection of career choices that all aid in the growth and promotion of the agriculture industry.

    What’s your one piece of advice for a woman who’s considering a role in the Ag industry?
    My advice for any woman interested in working in the ag industry is to not take every situation to heart. Somethings are simply out of your control, but how you handle them is what counts.

    Renae Schmidt, Sales Support

    What is your role with Stine? How long have you been with the company, and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
    Sales Support. I have been with Stine for more than a year now in sales and marketing. I get to support the sales team out in the field — from helping with transactions to finding solutions to problems with accounts to being a liaison between the field and office operations.

    Why is Stine a good fit for you?
    I have a passion for agriculture, love working with people and the Stine farm is right down the road from our home.

    What drew you into an occupation in agriculture?
    I grew up on a family farm in northwest Iowa where we raised row crops and livestock. Doing chores every day and seasonal things like riding beans, picking up rocks and scooping out pens were required. Our family was very involved in 4-H, FFA and raising our own livestock projects. As I got older, I realized the importance of those lessons growing up and those foundational farm production experiences. Through FFA, I participated in numerous contests like public speaking and job interviews, as well as serving as an Iowa FFA state officer, traveling the state promoting leadership in agriculture and getting to meet leaders in many types of companies within the ag Industry. The networking and experiences I gained through internships and the College of Ag at Iowa State only increased my desire to get my B.S. in ag education, with an emphasis in agronomy. 

    Why should women consider a career in agriculture?There are so many options. Whether your passion is animal science, agronomy, education, journalism, business, chemistry or law, there is and will always be a need for positive, talented people within the ag industry. Women have just as many opportunities as men, so go for it!

    What’s your one piece of advice for a woman who’s considering a role in the ag industry?
    Get involved, network and gain a variety of experiences. Ask questions and be willing to learn from wise people who go before you. I still hold on to two key lessons I learned in my first sales job: 1.) don’t assume, and 2.) always carry a pen — you never know when a customer will give you an order!


    Abby Nichols, ISR

    What is your role with Stine? How long have you been with the company, and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
    I am an independent sales representative, covering a few counties south of Indianapolis. I started with Stine as an ISR in November 2016. My responsibilities include growing relationships and finding out what a farmer’s needs and goals are and how Stine can assist. I then work with the farmer to match up Stine corn and soybean genetics on their acres so that they can be profitable and take their farming operation in the way that they desire.  

    Why is Stine a good fit for you?
    My path to Stine is a little unique. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture sales & marketing from Purdue University, I worked for Indiana FFA for two years. Then, I returned home to my family’s grain farm and independent fertilizer and chemical retail business. I worked with my family (who are Stine dealers) for seven years. I then took some time off to be a stay-at-home mom in 2011, helping on the farm during busy seasons. In May 2016, my husband was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It became clear that we would need to make a lot of changes. At about this time, my territory was open and I needed something flexible that fit my strengths, something I was passionate about and gave me a means to provide for my family. I feel very blessed to be working for Stine. I love working with farmers and their families while having the freedom to operate in a way that works best for me, as well as the opportunity to work hard and get rewarded.

    What drew you into an occupation in agriculture?
    Being born and raised on a farm had a big influence on my life. My parents were intentional about getting us involved with agriculture. So many great memories with my sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles have been made on the farm. As I got older, I joined 4-H and FFA. FFA had a huge impact in my life. It taught me so much about goal setting, relationship building, leadership and communication skills. At the same time, FFA kept reinforcing my love of agriculture. The organization does a great job of letting young people know about all the job opportunities in agriculture — it definitely kept me focused on the agriculture career track.

    Why should women consider a career in agriculture?
    I love that agriculture is rich in traditions — that families have been caring for the same piece of land for generations. I love that agriculture is all about families. While it is steeped in tradition, agriculture embraces science and technology and is comprised of a lot of independent thinkers. I think when we work in agriculture, it’s all about nurturing something, be it a plant, animal, etc. I really believe women are born nurturers, so I think women can find a lot of career satisfaction in the agriculture industry.  

    What’s your one piece of advice for a woman who’s considering a role in the ag industry?
    I think sometimes we hear too often how the agriculture industry is dominated by men. I’m not sure if women shy away from that because of it. However, I have found this industry to be generous to everyone. I encourage women to not be intimidated — work hard, be kind and no matter your gender, you will find a good home in the agriculture sector.