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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    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.

     

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    Harvest Update: Region 1 (Central Minnesota/West Central Wisconsin)

    September 30, 2016

    Posted by Justin Oden in Harvest

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that 79 percent of soybeans in Minnesota are in good or excellent condition with 13 percent harvested. In Wisconsin, 84 percent are in good or excellent condition with only one percent harvested. For corn, 84 percent is in good or excellent condition in Minnesota with three percent harvested, and 87 percent is in good or excellent condition in Wisconsin with two percent harvested.

    That being said, I hear from a lot of growers in the region who hope to start harvesting early because of heavy insect pressure that came from a wet mid-summer growing season. For growers who didn’t use fungicides this year, they’re anxious to hit the fields to ensure their stalk quality hasn’t been compromised. Unfortunately, however, the region has received heavy rainfalls over the past few weeks, pushing back harvest for some.  

    Areas in southern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin experienced anywhere from three to 14 inches of rain. Waseca, Minnesota, for example, saw up to 14 inches of rain in two days, and ears are still under water. In cases like this, fungicide treatments would have paid off for a number of these growers and is something they may want to consider when planning for 2017.

    But, at the end of every storm there’s a rainbow. Areas in Region 1 that were not affected by the overabundance of rain during pollination and received timely rains during the growing season are looking forward to record yields this season. I look forward to seeing some big numbers from these areas.

     

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    Safety First and Always

    September 19, 2016

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Safety First and Always

    Held September 18–24, this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week is themed “Farm Safety: A Legacy to be Proud of.” This annual recognition reminds communities of the hazards agricultural workers face and the safety measures needed to help minimize farming injuries and accidents. According to the U.S. Census of Fatal Injuries 2014 Summary, the number of fatal work injuries in agriculture increased 14 percent and ranks among the highest for fatal injury rate of any industry sector.

    As we near harvest season, remember that education is the key to preventing fatalities. Implement these tips on the farm and in the field to stay safe this harvest season.

    Familiarize yourself with potential health and safety hazards. Whether it’s machinery, chemicals, dangerous travel routes or fire hazards, always keep these hazards at top of mind before operating equipment.

    Alert and teach children and other family members about these hazards. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 113 youth under 20 years of age die annually from farm-related injuries. Discuss safe handling and operating procedures with anyone who is on the farm.

    Rest — it’s important! Long hours in the field contribute to fatigue, which can increase accidents on the farm. Make sure you get the proper amount of sleep and take care of your health to help prevent accidents.

    Maintain and inspect your farm equipment before you hit the field. Check all tires and hoses on equipment. Make sure the breaks and engine are in good working order for harvest. If your equipment comes with a Roll-Over Protective Structure, make sure it’s operational for the season. Tractor rollovers account for the majority of farm-related deaths.  

    Steer clear of loose clothing around farm equipment and wear protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and steel-toed boots. 

    Avoid powerlines and gas pipelines. Adjust equipment to its lowest level when traveling so that you’re at least 10 feet or more from power lines, and remember to call 811 before you dig.

    Follow instructions. Read safety manuals to ensure you properly operate farm machinery. It could save your life!

    Employ the buddy system when operating dangerous equipment or working in grain bins.

    For more information on how to prevent work-related injuries and accidents, visit https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/FarmFactS2.pdf