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. 

  • Kevin Krabel Image

    Japanese Beetles: A Growing Concern for Corn and Soybean Growers

    July 19, 2017

    Posted by Kevin Krabel in Crop Management

    When you’re out scouting your fields this summer, look for a small beetle with a shiny copper-colored body and a green head and thorax. These little pests are Japanese beetles, and they’re making their way across the Midwest.

    Japanese beetles can usually be found feeding on gardens, trees and shrubs, but they’re also known to pop up in corn and soybean fields. My region in Illinois has an increased infestation of Japanese beetles this year earlier than ever, causing concern for area corn and soybean growers who worry how the pests will affect yield. Here are a few things you should know about Japanese beetles and how you can treat your fields this year:

    • Japanese beetles are in the order Coleoptera and the family Scarabaeidae. The beetles start as eggs and hatch into larvae in the soil during the winter. As larvae, they moult to become C-shaped grubs. As temperatures rise in the spring, the grubs break hibernation and within four to six weeks pupate into adults.
    • Where there’s one Japanese beetle, there may be hordes of beetles nearby. Japanese beetles do not travel alone as they feed in clusters. This is a result of a pheromone the beetles emit that attracts other beetles as they feed on the leaves of plants.

    • They typically pop up around late spring/early summer. Check corn silks and leaves for signs of the insect, as well as the leaves and flowers in soybean fields. The beetles feed on these parts of the plant, which can ultimately affect pollination and yield.

    • If you don’t immediately see the beetles, their damage can often times be detected on the plant. Silk “clipping” can be spotted on corn plants, and holes in leaves or shredded (or defoliated) leaves with brown edges can be signs of the pests. In soybeans, Japanese beetles typically feed on the leaf tissue between veins, which leaves behind a lace-like skeletonized appearance.

    • If Japanese Beetles are detected, they can be controlled through insecticides such as Sevin or pyrethroid insecticides.

    • The University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences notes that the threshold of Japanese beetles in soybeans should be based on the percentage of leaf defoliation. The university recommends that treatment should be considered if 20 percent of the leaf is defoliated before bloom and pod fill and if pre-bloom soybeans have around 30 percent leaf defoliation.

    • In corn, the university recommends that insecticide treatments should be considered if silks on the plant have been clipped to half an inch or less or if pollination is less than 50 percent complete. The university also recommends treatment if more than three beetles can be found per ear. 

    For more information on Japanese beetles and how to detect and prevent these insects from robbing yield, contact your local Stine sales rep. 

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    Stine® 9714-G Brand Corn

    July 07, 2017

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    When you combine Stine’s exclusive genetics with Agrisure® traits, you get superior hybrids unmatched by any in the industry. In 2017, we introduced Stine® 9714-G brand corn, which features the Agrisure GT trait. This corn option provides growers tolerance to in-crop applications of glyphosate-based herbicides and the freedom to choose their preferred glyphosate brand.

    Stine 9714-G brand corn works well in combination with the Stine 9734 and Stine 9529 brand corn genetics. 9714-G has a relative maturity of 109–111 days and excellent stalk and root structure, which makes it a great option not only for fields with higher stressors but also those that may not have the highest fertility. 

    Stine 9714-G brand corn is based on some of Stine’s newest high-yielding genetics, provides very good disease protection and positive response to increased population in all row widths. In 2018, we will also offer this line as conventional and Agrisure Viptera® 3110.

    To learn more about Stine 9714-G brand corn, talk to your local Stine sales rep or visit our website.

  • Todd Schomburg Image

    What to Know: Sudden Death Syndrome and Brown Stem Rot

    July 05, 2017

    Posted by Todd Schomburg in Crop Management

    What to Know: Sudden Death Syndrome and Brown Stem Rot
    Because sudden death syndrome (SDS) and brown stem rot (BSR) continue to spread throughout the Midwest each year, now is a critical time to scout for signs of these diseases in your soybean fields. In Region 4, which covers northwestern Iowa and parts of Nebraska, SDS in particular was a big issue the last couple years, which means growers need to look for it again this year. Here’s what you need to know about SDS and BSR.

    Plants typically become infected with SDS in the spring, a few weeks after planting; however, symptoms of the disease may not be detectible until late July or early August. Some of the symptoms can include discolored patches (often times yellow) on the leaves between the veins, leaves dropping prematurely, root rot, blue mold-like spots on the taproot, late-developing pods and smaller-than-normal seeds, which ultimately lead to reduced yield.

    If you think you’ve detected SDS, contact your Stine regional sales agronomist to help confirm the disease. If SDS is confirmed, there really isn’t anything you can do for it this year, but in future years, there are preventive measures you can take to lessen the risk for SDS returning. Choosing soybean varieties that are SDS tolerant and seed treatments that are effective against the disease are options to discuss with your RSA. You’ll also want to take note of the problem areas so you can track those spots again next year. Typically, if SDS returns, it shows up in the same place each year.

    BSR has a lot of similar symptoms to SDS, including leaf discoloration, decreased pods and smaller seeds. However, to determine if your fields have BSR or SDS, you need to split open the root and see if the pith and stem are brown or white. If it’s brown, then it’s likely BSR, if it’s white, then it’s probably SDS.  

    In addition to selecting varieties that are BSR tolerant and using seed treatments, growers can find some relief from the disease through crop rotation, including multiple years of corn on corn, and tillage.

    For more information on how to detect and prevent SDS and BSR from occurring in your fields, talk to your regional sales agronomist.