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. 

  • Chad Kuehl Image

    Test Plots & Population Studies

    April 15, 2015

    Posted by Chad Kuehl in High-Population Corn

    Learn more about high-population planting by taking a tour of a Stine test plot. 

  • Stine Shifts All Research Planters to Twin 20s System

    Stine Shifts All Research Planters to Twin 20s System

    March 19, 2015

    Posted by Stine Seed in Research

    As evidence of Stine's ongoing commitment to selecting varieties for increased yields at advanced populations, starting in 2015, Stine's research plots will be converted to our new Twin 20 row configuration. To do this required the construction of 12 all-new research planters and the purchase of 12 new larger tractors to pull them. Each planter employs specialized seed splitters and row cones that allow us to plant small quantities of seed accurately, and we will also utilize a GPS-based tripping system to ensure each plot is evenly spaced. With this system, Stine researchers will be able to plant four four-row plots concurrently, with a total of over one million plots.

    Soybean research team leader Rodney Pentico says Stine’s philosophy is that the future of soybean yields, just as with corn, lies in finding varieties that will excel in narrower rows and at increased planting populations relative to today's varieties. “Converting our entire program to the Twin 20s configuration will lead to varieties that have been bred from start to finish for narrower rows and higher populations,” says Pentico.

    To learn more about our HP Twin 20s system or our research program, contact your Stine Regional Sales Agronomist.

  • Tricks of the Trade: Lessons Learned from 2014 HP Corn Harvest Lead Way for Future Yield Gains
    Brian Hartman Image

    Tricks of the Trade: Lessons Learned from 2014 HP Corn Harvest Lead Way for Future Yield Gains

    March 10, 2015

    Posted by Brian Hartman in High-Population Corn

    Every year, our high-population corn research reveals something new. In 2014, we garnered some excellent insights that will guide us in our 2015 research. If you’re also planning to shift to higher-population planting, follow these tips to make the most of your acres:

    Plant early — Delayed planting results in bigger plants and requires a lower-population hybrid. The more delayed you become, adjust populations down accordingly.

    Check soil drainage — Water-logged or poorly drained soils will be short of oxygen. When either oxygen or water is the limiting factor in corn production, a lower population is needed.

    Choose the right hybrid — Stine is developing hybrids specifically suited for high-population planting. They are shorter than traditional hybrids and have leaves that grow upright to catch more sunlight. These hybrids also feature compact structures that produce outstanding roots and stalks, ensuring a sturdier plant, which in turn helps it thrive in higher populations.

    Check for adequate nutrients — Medium to high levels of phosphorus and potassium with the appropriate amount of nitrogen and sulfur applied at the proper time is essential. Most of this needs to be applied during the growing season as a sidedress or over the top application and must include the sulfur.

    Consider planting range — On highly productive soils, for example, plant in the 41,000 to 51,000 range, with the high end of the range restricted to the newest short hybrids.

    Harvest early to maximize gains — Getting the crop out in a timely fashion will help minimize weather-related harvest issues.

    Assuming optimum weather and field conditions, we expect following these protocols will result in yield gains, including an increase of three to nine percent by making the switch to narrow rows with a more equal planting distance. Additionally, selecting the right hybrid for your field — and with the right genetics for high-density planting — could mean a five to 12 percent yield increase. And ensuring your soil has the proper nutrients, as well as timely nitrogen applications, may result in a 10 to 20 percent yield boost.

    At Stine, we believe that high-density corn production will lead the way to consistently averaging 300 bushels per acre or more year after year. Contact your local Stine Seed dealer or agronomist to get started on your yield of dreams.