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. 

  • Bill Kessinger Image

    Now’s the Time — Get Out and Scout

    June 10, 2016

    Posted by Bill Kessinger in Crop Management

    It’s the perfect time of year to get out and start scouting corn and soybean fields. Whether you’re looking for plant stand or seedling diseases, early growing season is one of the best times to see what’s going on with your plants while there’s still time to manage any issues that arise.

    Plant stand

    Growers know what populations were planted in their fields, but that doesn’t mean that’s what actually emerged. It’s important to determine what the stand count is right now so that there aren’t any surprises come harvest season. I recommend going out in multiple locations in the field and counting the equivalent of 1/1,000 of an acre. For example, if you planted 30-inch rows, you’re going to want to scout every 17 feet, five inches to count every plant. Say you counted 34 plants, that would mean you’re at a stand of about 34,000. Do this two to three times in each location so you have a good average sample of the field. And remember to adjust counting based on row spacing.

    Disease detection

    While you’re out scouting for plant stand, it’s also the perfect time to check fields for early seedling diseases. To start, you’re going to want to check areas where there’s been ponding or fields that have been susceptible to cooler temperatures. In Indiana and Ohio, we had some issues with colder temperatures, so it’s important for growers in our region to scout for seedling diseases that come about from slower plant development. Diseases such as phytophthora root rot, fusarium, Pythium and other seedling blights are diseases that can be detected this time of year. I recommend digging up a few plants in the areas you scout and really take a look at the base of the plant. Take note of how the root structure appears and if you see any discoloration. If you’re concerned the plant may have an early seedling disease, you can send plant samples off to the lab or contact your local Stine regional sales agronomist or district sales manager and they can take a look at it. Chances are if you catch the disease early enough, there’s still an opportunity to save yield.

    Nutrient deficiencies

    Use this time in the field to also start scouting for nutrient deficiencies. Often times you can detect nutrient deficiencies by looking for discoloration of the plants as well as the pattern of the root system. If you see any areas of concern, again, take a tissue sample and send it off to the lab. The lab should be able to determine what exactly is missing as far as nutrients and how much is lacking from the plant. You may need to consider foliar applications, but fixing the problem now may prevent you from facing a bigger issue in the long run. And don’t forget to take notes of problem areas early on so you can continue to monitor those areas throughout the rest of the season. And when in doubt, contact your Stine regional sales agronomist or district sales manager.



  • Amanda Oberg Image

    Stine XP Soybean Seed Treatments

    May 27, 2016

    Posted by Amanda Oberg in Products

    Stine XP soybean seed treatments offer growers protection from environmental stressors they cannot control and that can ultimately threaten their bottom line. From insects to diseases, RSA Katie Lorenz explores the reasons you may want to consider Stine XP soybean seed treatments for your fields.

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    Plant 16 Progress Report (Part 3)

    May 13, 2016

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    While corn planting is winding down, soybean planting is ramping up across the Midwest, but intermittent rain is affecting the last bit of Plant 16 for corn. So much so that some growers in northern Illinois are considering transitioning their last few acres of corn to beans because saturated soils are keeping them out of the field. Here’s more on the latest Plant 16 progress from Stine.

    Region 2 — RSA Katie Lorenz (North Dakota, north central South Dakota, northwestern Minnesota)

    We’re about 95 percent done with corn in Region 2, and we have a good start with soybeans with approximately 50 percent in the ground. We’ve really had tremendous weather for planting so far this spring. Now we hope to keep the temps up for a great start to the growing season.

    Region 3 — RSA Tony Lenz (south central South Dakota, north central Nebraska and southwestern Minnesota)

    Planting has been slow in most of Region 3. Nebraska and South Dakota, where we have sandy soils, have gotten some corn acres planted. The very eastern side of South Dakota is way behind on planting, and there are some thoughts on switching from corn to beans. Areas of Minnesota and Nebraska that did plant corn three weeks ago are seeing corn emerge but with some stand issues where the soils either crusted or were waterlogged. We could really use a week or more of completely dry and sunny conditions.

    Region 9 — RSA Mike Smith (Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and southwest Missouri)

    Corn planting is finished in southwest Missouri, eastern Kansas and eastern Texas, with good stand establishment. Planting has begun in central Kansas and is about 70 percent completed. Western Kansas and western Texas are just beginning to have good planting and growing conditions. Very few soybeans have been planted in Region 9.

    We’ve received several good comments from growers regarding Stine 9427-20 and Stine 9429-20 brand corn. These hybrids have had very good emergence and continue to exhibit good nitrogen uptake with nice, dark green color compared to competitors.

    Region 10 — RSA Tony Pleggenkuhle (southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa)

    We’re about 90 percent done with corn throughout southeast Minnesota and north central/northeast Iowa. About 70 percent of beans have gone in. So far we haven’t seen any issues, but there are a few people a little concerned about cold shock.

    Region 11 — RSA Chuck Vaughan (east central Illinois, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin)

    Corn planting is mostly wrapped up in central Illinois, and about 80 percent finished in northern Illinois. Corn planting is under way in southern Wisconsin with about 50 percent planted. A lot of farmers opted to hold off starting beans until after the rain coming this week.