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. 

  • Planting Progress Roundup: Part 1
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    Planting Progress Roundup: Part 1

    May 19, 2022

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    Planting Progress Roundup: Part 1
    Last week, planting progress picked up with higher temperatures and drier conditions throughout the Corn Belt. According to the latest Crop Progress Report, 49% of the nation’s corn crop is in the ground with 14% emerged. On the soybean side, 30% are planted with 9% emerged. Stine regional sales agronomists (RSAs) also report an uptick in planting in many of their regions. Here are their updates.

    Tony Pleggenkuhle, Region 10 RSA (northeastern Iowa, southern Minnesota)
    In region 10, corn is 70% complete, and soybeans are roughly 40% complete. The few acres planted in April look good and are emerging evenly due to record-high temperatures and plenty of moisture during the first half of May. Acres planted in the last 10 days started to emerge within five days in some cases. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the rest of the crop to emerge in between periods of rain.

    Kevin Ryan, Region 14 RSA (Delta South)
    Corn planting is complete in Arkansas and Louisiana. Early-planted corn looks good after some heat, although we're a month behind normal corn planting dates — much of the corn crop was planted in late April and early May. Some growers switched corn acres to cotton, rice or soybeans. The latest-planted corn has had excellent emergence and looks very good. It may surprise us this year since it's off to a great start.

    Soybeans have been going in the ground hot and heavy every chance we get between rains. I estimate 50% are planted. Rice and cotton acres are also going in the ground in many areas.

    Tanna Parrish, Region 29 RSA (Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia)
    Planting in the Southeast has been in full swing these last few weeks. We've caught rain here and there, but crops are out of the ground and look great. We still have some folks wrapping up corn in the northern part of the territory, and soybeans will be going in the ground soon after wheat. We have a few potato growers completing harvest and gearing up to put in Stine products. Cabbage season finished a couple of weeks ago, and corn will be planted on those acres shortly. We have summer weather now with temperatures over 90 degrees, and corn is growing like crazy. It has been a long spring as we had a late frost that hurt or delayed some growers’ crops, followed by inches upon inches of rain. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we're still delivering corn and soybeans to growers trying to get wrapped up.

    Todd Oliver, Region 27 RSA (Texas)
    Corn in the Rio Grande Valley is in full tassel. The Texas Coastal Bend is in a major drought, and most cotton has failed. The corn is about 3 inches tall and tasseling. Many are waiting on insurance companies to visit. Central Texas needs rain, but most of the corn looks good with some of it starting to tassel. Planting proceeds in the panhandle and South Plains with drought conditions. Irrigation will be necessary.

    Paige Harris, Region 15 RSA (Michigan and New York) 
    Planting has finally started in the region. The late start was due to a wet and cold spring. The weather has warmed up during the last couple of weeks, and everyone is busy planting. Both corn and soybeans are going in the ground at the same time due to the late-season start. Most areas are around 50% done with planting. The ground has been warming up quickly due to above-average temperatures, which will lead to quick emergence once the crop is in the ground.

    Kevin Krabel, Region 13 RSA (Central Illinois)
    Things got off to a slow start throughout Region 13 with early, cold temperatures and seemingly constant rain showers. Mother Nature gave us a break in the weather over the past week or so, and most growers have taken advantage. We have many growers who are already done planting, some who need a couple more good days to wrap up and some who are about a quarter of the way there or less for various reasons. We  have some concerns with how hard the ground got recently, giving the soybeans a hard time emerging. But this last rain hopefully loosened things up enough to reduce the amount of replant we will need. More rain in the forecast this week might slow us down a little, but for the most part (except for growers with double-crop acreage), I think Region 13 will be close to planting completion in the next few weeks.

    Stay tuned for more from-the-field updates in next week’s edition of Stine Weekly.

     

  • Join the Stine legacy
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    Join the Stine legacy

    May 12, 2022

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Stine® is always on the lookout for talented agribusiness professionals. We currently have several excellent opportunities available for the right job seekers. We offer competitive pay, health/dental/vision insurance and retirement benefits for full-time employees. And for those interested in outside sales positions, we provide outstanding work flexibility and earning potential. Learn about some of our open positions.

    Independent sales representatives (ISRs)
    With a growing national footprint, we’re continuously scouting for motivated individuals to serve as independent sales representatives. These individuals will serve as primary ambassadors of the Stine brand within assigned territories. Key responsibilities include:

    • Managing existing dealer accounts and recruiting new dealerships.
    • Developing and enhancing direct relationships with growers and potential customers.
    • Working with Stine regional sales agronomists to provide a high level of sales support within the assigned territory.

    Learn more about our open independent sales representative positions.

    Seasonal workers
    As the summer approaches, we’re looking for seasonal workers to help out at our corn nursery at our Adel, Iowa, facility. Individuals will perform various in-field tasks in the corn nursery, including hand pollinations. Work will begin in July and last three to six weeks, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The work schedule is dependent on weather and field conditions. Learn more.

    Sales support specialist
    Our growing sales support team is looking for a qualified candidate to fill a sales support specialist role at our Dallas Center, Iowa, office. The candidate will become part of a team that is tasked with providing support for approximately 250 outside sales representatives. Duties include assisting with processing orders, cancellations and other activities as directed by sales representatives to keep accounts current.This position will also support customer programs. More information on the role can be found here.

    Paralegal
    We’re hiring a paralegal at our Adel, Iowa, facility. Primary responsibilities will include working with company management and attorney to draft and negotiate confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements and other types of documents; assisting in managing compliance with contracts and other legal obligations; and working with various internal teams to help develop business rules and processes. Read more about the requirements and benefits of the job.

    Looking for something else?
    If you or someone you know would be a good fit for  these roles or the others listed on our Careers page, reach out to us at jobs@stineseed.com. Interested candidates can apply directly through our website or to the email address affiliated with the specific job. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to work with one of the industry’s most respected corn and soybean seed companies.

  • Don’t fret, stick to your planting plan
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    Don’t fret, stick to your planting plan

    May 05, 2022

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    Cold temps and continuous rains are a concern for many growers in the Corn Belt, which is why we’re seeing a slow start to the planting season. According to the latest Crop Progress Report, only 14% of the nation’s corn crop is planted compared to 42% this time last year. On the soybean front, only 8% of soybeans are planted compared to 22% this time last year.

    “When planting runs behind, we start getting questions from growers asking if it’s time to switch to a shorter-maturity hybrid,” says Tom Larson, Stine® corn technical agronomist. “While not every situation is the same, the best answer I can give them is to not rush to make changes. We’re not there yet.”

    The main reason we recommend growers stick to their planting plan is that, historically, full-season hybrids outyield early-season hybrids. There’s also still time. Experts from Penn State Extension note that, in most areas, growers should wait until the last week of May before switching to a shorter hybrid maturity. This is especially true for states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois — areas still well within the optimal corn planting dates for their maturities. 

    “What’s important for growers in times like these is to not let your anxiety get the best of you; stick to your planting plan as long as you possibly can,” says Larson. “Once the weather gets warmer, heat units will kick in and dry up the soil. There’s still time for corn to mature in a normal fashion.”

    Even if growers can’t hit the field for a few weeks, yields should not be compromised by delayed planting. A late start may delay harvest a few weeks, but it’s important for growers to think in terms of growing degree days. Penn State Extension recommends that growers consider the approximate number of growing degree days left in the season before a fall killing frost could strike.

    “The more growing degree days you have, the more heat units you allow,” says Larson. “Heat units equate to more mature plants. And, unfortunately, if you make the switch to an early-season hybrid too early, you could rush the maturity process by allowing less time for pollination and grain fill. These processes are critical to yield.”

    If late May rolls around and you are still not in the field, it might be time to talk to your local Stine sales rep or agronomist about options. Even then, we recommend switching only to a five-to-seven-day earlier maturity than the full-season hybrid.

    “You want to stay as close to your original full-season option as possible,” says Larson. He adds that grain prices, drying costs and whether your crop is used for grain or livestock feeding should be factored into your decision.  

    If cool temps and frequent rains prevent you from getting into the field, don’t act prematurely. Stick with your original planting plan. If it gets closer to late May and things still haven’t progressed, contact your local Stine sales rep or agronomist to discuss your options before switching to a different hybrid. We’re here to answer your questions and guide your path to success this planting and growing season.