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. 

  • A Year in Review

    A Year in Review

    December 26, 2019

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    This year will go down as one that many growers want to put behind them and hope never to repeat. It’s been a tough year, to say the least, and growers are ready to forge ahead to 2020, with hopes for better weather and more favorable planting and growing conditions across the board. Though it’s been a rough year, there were a lot of teachable moments that can help guide us through future seasons. From planting dates to leaching to weed control, we’ve gathered some of the lessons we learned throughout 2019.

    Planting date matters. Persistent wet and cool conditions this spring led to delayed planting and even some preventative planting. As a result, we’ve witnessed several areas with significant differences in yield and standability. We’ve found that early-planted corn in promising conditions has consistently out-yielded and tended to stand better when all other issues were in check, including insect and disease control.

    When early planting isn’t an option, growers need to remain patient. We recommend sticking to your planting plan as long as you possibly can. Full-season hybrids and varieties typically outperform early-season options, so growers need to refrain from letting anxiety get the best of them. When the clock is ticking, work with your local Stine sales agronomist to determine the best move for your operation. If preventative planting is your only option, we have recommendations for that, too!

    Soil nutrient loss shouldn’t be ignored. Frequent rains lead to leaching and leaching can lead to significant yield loss. This was something we saw a lot of this year — significant yield issues in areas that continued to receive moisture after yield-goal nitrogen was applied. Some growers even experienced kernel fill without ears “tipping back,” in part from nitrogen loss. This is due in part because corn plants utilize nitrogen late in the season, and when late-season nitrogen is not available because of leaching, these areas can experience significant reductions in yield potential and yield actuality from reduced nitrogen availability. This is also true with sulfur. It’s important to test soil frequently throughout the planting and growing seasons to ensure crops have the proper nutrients to thrive.  

    Late-season diseases affect test weight. Above-average moisture can cause a higher incidence and severity of diseases. This year in particular, we witnessed a lot of late-season foliar diseases. This is the result of a combination of several issues — varying weather elements, late planting and larger thresholds of corn earworm, to name a few. One particular issue of note this year was white mold (a.k.a. sclerotinia stem rot), which is a fungal pathogen that can cause significant yield damage if left untreated. Moderate temperatures, higher humidity and wet soils led to an influx of this mold this year.

    There’s also a correlation between uncontrolled leaf diseases and yield reduction, as well as test weight reduction in areas with late-planted corn that was subject to nitrogen loss. There have been significant issues with standability and test weight in areas that experienced late-season foliar diseases. Talk to your local Stine sales rep about our 2020 corn and soybean seed lineup, which combines high-yielding genetics with outstanding disease packages, or learn about our Stine XP Seed Treatments, which help ward off white mold and other diseases throughout the season.

    Weed control should always be top-of-mind. The conditions this growing season were prime for late-season weed escapes. Areas where weeds were unable to be managed experienced significant issues with harvest, in addition to insect control and overall yield. Heading into 2020, Stine has an outstanding lineup of corn and soybeans, many featuring herbicide tolerance so that growers have peace of mind when spraying their preferred herbicide program. For soybeans, be sure to talk to your local Stine sales agronomist about our lineup of Enlist E3 soybeans — an advanced herbicide-tolerant trait technology with maximum flexibility and convenience, along with the ability to use three unique modes of action for exceptional weed control.

    Year after year, Stine continues to offer high-yielding genetics and the industry’s most sought-after traits to support our grower customers and their yield goals. We look forward to your continued business in the new year.

  • Mike Smith Image

    Part 6: Management Strategies for Difficult-to-Control Weeds (Driver Weeds) in Soybeans

    December 19, 2019

    Posted by Mike Smith in Crop Management

    Last in our series of difficult-to-control driver weeds, we discuss kochia (a.k.a. tumbleweed). Kochia can be found in most regions throughout the United States and into Canada and can spread rapidly. From ditches to fences to cropland, kochia’s ability to transfer seed wherever the wind takes it and its broad adaptability mean this pesky weed can wreak havoc on growers’ yields. Learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of kochia and control tactics for this driver weed.

    The Bad News (Strengths)

    • Kochia has a high rate of pubescence, or “hair covered” leaves, which makes it difficult for herbicides to stay on the leaf long enough to be absorbed.
    • It is also extremely bushy, with numerous branches that develop a heavy canopy, making coverage of leaf surface difficult.
    • Kochia can reach up to six-feet high and have roots that can extend as much as 15- feet below the soil surface. This makes kochia extremely competitive with other plants in its environment. In fact, according to experts, kochia can reduce yields by up to 70 percent or more.
    • Kochia is prone to cross pollination, allowing herbicide-resistant biotypes to pollinate herbicide-susceptible biotypes, leaving the prodigy resistant. This evolutionary advantage, as well as the “tumbleweed” aspect of the plant, allows these resistant biotypes to spread quickly and over long distances.
    • In addition to blowing with the wind, as tumbleweeds, kochia can hitch rides on vehicles, travelling from the western Corn Belt areas to central and eastern Corn Belt areas while leaving seed along its path.

    The Good News (Weaknesses)

    • Kochia seed is viable in the soil for only a short time; however, initial germination rates are high and can range from 89 to 93 percent.
    • Kochia seed typically emerges early for a summer annual, in soil temperatures ranging from 37–46° Fahrenheit. The early emergence makes kochia easier to control with cover crops and early spring pre-emerge herbicides.
    • Germination is greater in shallow seed depths and decreases as soil depth increases.   

    Management Strategies

    *Note: Current known herbicide resistance includes Groups 5 (triazines), 9 (glyphosate), 2 (ALS) and 4 (synthetic auxins). There is some known cross resistance (single population) to both Groups 5 and 2.

    • Know your resistance profile. Have your population tested to know what herbicides will be effective.
    • Start clean. Consider tillage and/or an effective burndown control that eliminates actively growing weeds.
      • Tillage is the most effective but is not a viable alternative in all areas of the country because of erosion concerns and moisture loss.
      • Consult your local agronomist or university extension office for specific burndown recommendations.
    • Utilize an effective soil-residual herbicide. Using these products in multiple sequential applications is encouraged where possible to delay and diminish the germination and emergence of kochia to allow soybeans a competitive advantage in row closure, canopy and plant density.
    • Utilize an effective post-herbicide program. Apply an effective post-herbicide application(s) for pre-escapes.
    • Narrow-row soybeans. In some cases, narrow-row soybeans may be warranted to increase photosynthetic competitiveness and decrease kochia growth habits.
    • Cover crops. In some cases, cover crops have shown an increased ability to lessen weed seed bank populations and delay emergence.
    • Manual eradication. In severe infestations, manual eradication may be necessary for a few years to get the population under control.
    • Harvest eradication. In cases in the South, growers have turned to adding mechanical seed destroyers on their combines to control weed seed escapes.
    • Conventional herbicide system. Using a conventional herbicide system that relies on multiple, timed passes with soil-applied residuals and effective post-applied herbicides with current broad spectrum herbicides can be an effective strategy. This system is generally costly; however, the increase in yield from reducing weed competition generally outweighs the cost of treatment.

    Trait System Usage

    Use trait systems that provide the ability to apply multiple effective modes of action simultaneously to combat herbicide resistance.  For instance, Enlist E3® system allows the use of Enlist One® with 2,4-D choline to be applied with both glyphosate and glufosinate and additional tank mix partners to eliminate and delay further kochia emergence. This system combines many of the strategies discussed into a flexible platform.

    To learn more about kochia and how to manage this hard-to-control driver weed on your farm, contact your local Stine agronomist or university extension specialist.

    Resources and Citations:


    Kochia Management in Soybeans


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    Enlist E3™ Soybeans Score New Product of the Year Recognition

    December 12, 2019

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    In November, Agri Marketing Magazine announced the Enlist E3 soybean trait as the “NEW Product of the Year.” The announcement comes after the successful launch of the product in 2019, where growers across the United States welcomed the much-needed alternative in weed control for their fields. Stine® has seen first-hand the benefits the system provides, from exceptional performance to high yields and beyond.

    Agri Marketing Magazine notes that “an impartial team of agricultural industry judges” made the ultimate decision to award Enlist E3 new product of the year honors. Judges consisted of retired ag industry execs, ag marketing professionals and university experts. Lynn Henderson, publisher and editorial director of Agri Marketing Magazine notes, “We started the program in 2000 to recognize the exciting new products which are entering the ag market space and well-established products which have had significant impact on production agriculture.” Enlist E3 is developed by MS Technologies and Corteva Agriscience.

    At Stine, we’re pleased to offer the industry’s broadest lineup of Enlist E3 soybeans. Combined with the high-yielding genetics that growers have come to expect from Stine, our lineup of Stine Enlist E3 soybeans offer growers exceptional weed control, ease of use and excellent yield. Enlist E3 combines tolerance to a new 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate in a three-gene stack. This combination allows growers to tackle even the toughest weeds, including Palmer Amaranth, waterhemp, marestail, giant ragweed and more.

    Enlist Duo® herbicide with Colex-D® technology is labeled for use over the top of Enlist E3 soybeans and contains a proprietary blend of glyphosate and Corteva Agriscience’s new 2,4-D choline for unrivaled weed control designed to land and stay on target. In fact, Enlist Duo has been known to cut drift by as much as 90 percent compared to traditional 2,4-D (with low-drift nozzles). It’s also 96 percent less volatile for minimized potential for physical drift.

    Final approval of the Enlist E3 trait was received in February 2019. Despite the late start, Stine sold more than 700,000 units of Enlist E3 soybeans for the 2019 planting season, and we’re well on our way to exceed that number in 2020, which is evidence that growers recognize and need this important technology for weed control in soybeans. In fact, we anticipate that Enlist E3 sales will account for roughly 70 percent of our total volume in 2020. We’re excited to offer growers 75 options of Stine Enlist E3 soybeans for the 2020 season, ranging from a 003 to a 53 maturity.

    For more information on Stine Enlist E3 soybeans, contact your local Stine sales representative or visit our website.