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. 

  • Plant ‘21 Progresses throughout the U.S.
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    Plant ‘21 Progresses throughout the U.S.

    May 13, 2021

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    The May 10 National Agricultural Statistics Survey (NASS) Crop Progress Report notes that corn planting is 67 percent complete, up 21 percent from last week’s report. Of the corn planted, 20 percent has emerged. Forty-two percent of the nation’s soybean crop is planted, up 18 percent from last week. And 10 percent of soybeans have emerged, according to the report. We checked in with a few of our Agronomy and Sales team members again this week to see how crops are progressing in their regions. Here’s what they had to say.

    Mike Smith, corn technical agronomist (southern territories)
    Corn planting has been going on for two months in the South, and we are in various stages across the geography. States like Louisiana got started in March; however, with cool, wet conditions, corn stalled and is only now beginning to elongate. Corn in Arkansas, Mississippi and the rest of the Delta is planted and emerged, with most corn in the two- to six-leaf collar stage. Planting in southern Missouri is 80 percent complete and 30 to 40 percent complete in northern Missouri. Southern Illinois, Oklahoma and West Texas are just now really getting started.

    Soybeans across the entire South have been delayed by recent moisture and cool temps, with the rest of the geography waiting for wheat to come off. Some do not plant soybeans until late May or June. 

    RSA Aaron Stockton, Region 9 (southeast Kansas, southwest Missouri, northern Texas)
    In the core portion of Region 9 (southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri), most growers are wrapping up corn planting. A few soybeans are in the ground at this point, but most will wait until after wheat harvest is wrapped up. We’ve had cooler than average temps and have not been overly wet in most places. Despite delayed emergence on account of cool ground temps, we are getting good stand counts. There have been storms that rolled through in the last week causing some localized flooding that may lead to issues on some later-planted acres, but we shall see. All in all, it’s been a pretty good planting season. Now we just need some warm temps and sunshine.

    RSA Jake Anderson, Region 12 (western Illinois)
    Region 12 is 90­–100 percent planted north of I-80 and about 70–80 percent planted from I-80 south down to Quincy. Currently, the whole region is out of the field on account of rain that came through over the weekend. We received 1.5–2.5 inches of much-needed rain across the region. I’ve talked to people who expect to be planting again later this week. April corn is up, and emergence looks good. Soybeans were struggling to come through a hard crust on lighter soils in the southern part of the region, but recent rains have helped that situation. I’d say we are off to a good start!  

    RSA Katie Lorenz, Region 21 (North Dakota)
    Crop planting is rapidly progressing, but plant establishment continues to be slow due to the cool air and soil temperatures we have experienced, as well as generally dry soils. Things are warming up though as the average soil temperature in the center of the state (near Carrington) was in the low 60s as of May 10, which is 10 degrees higher than last week.

    Small grain planting in the region should be complete. Estimates on planting progress are around 40–60 percent complete with corn and 30–40 percent complete with soybeans. This is well above the five-year average!

    Parts of the region are still extremely dry and in desperate need of rain. With the dry conditions, planting is progressing as quickly as farmers can seed. It will be wait and see before we know if seeded crops have enough moisture to emerge in those dry parts. In the north and eastern side of North Dakota, farmers are going non-stop and should finish planting their corn by the end of the week. Plots are going in all over the region now, and we’re excited to get our hands dirty planting the best genetics the industry has to offer!

    RSA Mike Eckels, Region 8 (northern Missouri)
    The northeast corner of Missouri is 80 percent done with corn and 50 percent complete with beans. St. Louis to Columbia is wet! Only 20 percent of corn and 10 percent of corn is in. On the west side of Columbia, along I-70, is 85 percent done with corn and 40 percent done with soybeans. Northcentral Missouri is very spotty, with 50 percent corn and 20 percent of soybeans completed.

    To learn more about planting progress in your region, contact your local Stine sales rep.

  • Plant 2021 Full Speed Ahead
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    Plant 2021 Full Speed Ahead

    May 06, 2021

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    As of May 3, the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that 46 percent of the U.S. corn crop has been planted, slightly down from 48 percent at this time last year but still well ahead of the 2016–2020 average by 10 percent. This figure is pulled from the 18 states that planted 92 percent of the 2020 corn acreage. NASS also reports that 24 percent of the nation’s soybean acres are planted, up three percent from this time last year and 13 percent of the 2016–2020 average. Soybean figures are generated from the 18 states that planted 96 percent of the 2020 soybean acreage. Here’s what our sales reps are seeing in their regions to date.

    RSA Brett Johnson, Region 6, southeast and east-central Iowa
    We have about 80 percent of corn and 60 percent of soybeans planted in Region 6. A large percentage of acres have been planted in the last 10 days. Ground conditions were favorable, and Region 6 received as much as two inches of rain in some areas this week, which will pause progress but help with seed that has been in the ground since the middle of April. So far emergence is good for the farmers who were aggressive and planted early; however, the next 10 days are showing moderate to lower temperatures.

    RSA Tony Pleggenkuhle, Region 10, northeast Iowa, south-central and southeast Minnesota
    Region 10 has about 95 percent of corn and 70 percent of soybeans planted. The very early planted corn and soybeans are struggling a bit because of the cold and lack of moisture, but, fortunately, the bulk of what’s in the ground was planted in the last two weeks and after the half to three inches of rain we received over the weekend, I expect we’ll have a great start for the most part. Less than five percent of the acres have emerged at this point, but with the current weather outlook, I’d expect well over 50 percent of the crop will be out of the ground by the end of next week.

    RSA Kevin Ryan, Region 14, Delta South
    We’ve in very good shape in Region 14. So far, we have about 85 percent of corn planted, with a few areas in western Tennessee that are a bit farther behind because of rain. We’ve heard great things from our customers and sales reps in the field about emergence. Plants have come out of the ground faster than ever, even under cooler conditions. Soybean are probably 30 to 35 percent planted. The soybeans that were planted early are already up and out of the ground; some even have the second trifoliate out of the ground. Soybeans have really withstood the cold weather. Right now, we’re really wet and have had a lot of rain throughout the whole region, but we’ve come through it, and everything looks great.

    RSA Jason Green, Region 18, southern Indiana and Illinois, western Kentucky
    A lot of progress has been made with planting through the whole geography. Many customers are close to wrapping up their first planting, while most are above 50 percent completed.  Emergence of soybeans and corn planted before the cold snap has been better than expected, but recent heavy rains and the 10-day outlook are worrisome for ponding and possible localized flooding.

    Kevin Krabel, Region 13, southern Illinois
    We’ve been going fast and furious in Region 13. We’re probably 95 percent, if not more, done with soybeans and 90–95 percent done with corn. A lot of growers are done with everything and even have spraying completed. They’re still waiting to sidedress until after the rains are done. Conditions were pretty much perfect the entire month of April. We were a little concerned about the potential freeze that came through a few weeks ago with a little snow, but I don’t think it was cold long enough, and I think the snow insulated some of the seed to keep it from freezing. Emergence wasn’t hurt. We also haven’t had a ton of replant needs coming our way. We’re crossing our fingers, but this could be a pretty easy planting season, and the long-range forecast looks good. There’s some rain coming, but I don’t think it will flood or pond anything.

    RSA Derek Dreier, Region 24, Wisconsin
    Planting across Wisconsin is well ahead of the five-year average, with corn at 27 percent and soybeans at 16 percent planted. Most of the state received some much-needed rain as we started the month of May. This, along with cooler temperatures, is giving us a little break in the action. A few fields of early-planted soybeans have now started to emerge. Even with the overnight lows forecasted to be near 32 degrees in certain areas, we are optimistic that these beans should make it through unscathed. Happy planting season!

    Tony Lenz, corn technical agronomist
    We’re getting a lot of questions about soil being too dry and whether or not we’re OK to plant soybeans in areas of Nebraska, Iowa, southern Minnesota and the Dakotas. What I’ve been telling growers is that you still have optimal yield potential for soybeans if you want to hold off a week on planting. If you do decide to plant into the dry soils, you can go a little (not much) deeper, so around the 1.5-inch mark. Don’t chase moisture by planting below the two-inch mark. Also, make sure you’re paying attention to the long-range forecast. If you decide to plant into dry soil and go a little deeper and you end up getting a pounding rain, you may risk the furrows sealing back up and crusting, which could hurt emergence. Soybeans also need to take in 50 percent of their weight in moisture to start the germination process, so a good amount of rainfall is still necessary in these very dry soil areas to get adequate emergence.

     

     

  • Tips to Prioritize Early-Season Crop Scouting
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    Tips to Prioritize Early-Season Crop Scouting

    April 29, 2021

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    There’s no way around it. Early-season crop scouting is essential if growers want to get ahead of yield-robbing problems in their fields. Diseases, pests, weeds and compaction can all affect your acres, so getting into your fields early and often is imperative this spring and through the remainder of the growing season. Here are a few tips to help your early-season crop scouting.

    1. Do your research. Review your notes from years’ past. What problems were present, and could they potentially rear their heads this year? What hybrid/variety did you plant last year? Did your herbicide and fungicide program work? What were the soil fertility levels last fall? Familiarize yourself with the potential issues that could be present in your fields before you begin scouting. You can also check out university extension apps or online bulletins that outline the various diseases, pests and weeds that affect your area. For example, in soybeans you want to scout for soybean cyst nematodes, bean leaf beetles or signs of sudden death syndrome early in the season. For corn, you’ll want to look for insects such as cutworms and wireworms, or for any indication of Anthracnose leaf blight or damping off.

    2. Have the necessities ready to go. Bring your probe and sampling bags for soil samples, pack your research materials to help identify anticipated problems, use a handheld GPS or field maps/guides to chart your path through each field, bring a magnifying glass to ensure you can get a closer look at the seedling, roots and vegetation you’re scouting, and bring a notepad to take notes of problem areas. Save time by being prepared.

    3. Scout newly planted fields early, sometimes even before emergence. Even before crops surface, something could be lurking below ground. Insects such as wireworms or seed corn maggots or diseases such has Phytophthora and Phythium root rot can be problematic and noticeable (below ground) before emergence. Use your probe to check for compaction and pests or dig up a few seedlings to check for seedling diseases There’s nothing to lose by scouting early, but there could be a lot to lose if you don’t.

    4. Don’t just check the edges of the field. No field is the same, so you need to check various spots of every field and in different rows. Experts at Iowa State University Extension recommend scouting in either a transect, zig-zag or diamond pattern. Whichever pattern you use, we recommend using this same pattern throughout the rest of the growing season and continuing to monitor the same spots. Modern-day technology such as handheld GPS systems can ensure you chart and remember your path throughout the growing season. And other technology such as drones can give you the birds’ eye view of your fields, allowing you to take a closer look at plant stands and areas where runoff or compaction may have delayed emergence.

    5. Scout often. Crop scouting isn’t just a once-over job. Growers should start scouting after planting and scout weekly, if not twice a week, through harvest. Weeds are fast-growing and prolific and can emerge in a matter of days. Some plants produce hundreds to hundreds of thousands of seed in only a few weeks’ time from emergence. Scouting early and often increases your chances of catching weed escapes before they take over your fields, in addition to the burdensome pests and diseases that could be present in your fields.

    For more tips on early-season crop scouting, contact your local Stine sales rep.