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. 

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    Importance of Fungicides

    May 23, 2018

    Posted by Dustin Ellis in Crop Management

    Fungicides aren’t typically the first instrument used in a grower’s toolbox for crop protection. Rotation, tillage, hybrid/variety selection, traits, herbicides and insecticides tend to come first; however, fungicides should be a serious consideration in a year with high disease pressure. This year, many growers were forced to plant into cool, wet soils or delay planting because of inclement weather. Planting in these conditions increases the risk for diseases in both corn and soybeans, which is why growers need to consider fungicides this growing season as a preventive solution for foliar diseases.

    Seed treatment fungicides are effective against certain soil-borne pathogens in soybeans and corn; however, there are times when foliar fungicides are needed to control advancing diseases such as frogeye leaf spot, white mold and rust in soybeans, and gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, ear molds and stalk rot in corn. If you have fields with a history of these diseases, fungicides should be considered when conditions are favorable for disease development and/or advancement.

    Treatment Options
    Two forms of fungicide applications exist for foliar disease, stalk rots and ear molds — Triazol (curative) and Strobilurin (preventive). Curative fungicides are effective at killing existing fungal bodies on leaf tissue, while preventive type fungicides keep fungal infections from being able to feed on living leaf cellular tissue. Many products now contain both types of active ingredients, giving effective knockdown of existing fungal bodies and preventing disease development. Knowing the chances of further disease development is crucial in deciding the right type of product.  Certain diseases will favor cool, wet conditions while other diseases prefer warm, wet environments.

    Agronomic best management practices allow for the application of preventive type fungicides as protection against disease development and to allow the crop to transpire (breath) more effectively and efficiently. Curative applications should be made to crops that exhibit disease that will affect the reproductive phase of the crop. On soybeans, if 35 percent or more of the leaf tissue is diseased, a curative fungicide is warranted. On corn, if disease levels reach the ear leaf or above, a curative fungicide is warranted. If disease is present or conditions are such that certain diseases could develop, applications of a preventive type material are warranted. Timing should coincide with initiation of reproduction. For soybeans, this is R1 (beginning to flower) to R3 (1/4” pods), and in corn, this is tassel emergence.

    Contact your local Stine representative to learn more about the importance of fungicides and which applications may work best for your fields this year.

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    Pre-Emerge Herbicides and Rainfall Activation

    May 16, 2018

    Posted by Mike Smith in Crop Management

    A recent article published by Purdue University Extension titled “Soil Applied Herbicides and Rainfall for Activation” reminds farmers about how soil-applied chemistries can either work or fail depending on the amount of rainfall fields receive after application.  

    Much of the Corn Belt is busy planting corn and even soybeans, so sprayers are not far behind with pre-emerge-type chemistries to control weeds during the early growing season. Residual herbicides (soil-applied or pre-type chemistries) work the same way; they require moisture for full activation and then act on emerging weed seedlings in some way. What really needs to happen for the herbicides to be successful is for the chemistry to be mixed with water in the soil and spread out to form a blanket of protection that weed seedlings must grow through. However, sometimes they fail to work.

    Consider these contributing factors:

    1. How much water does it take for the active ingredient to mix into the soil solution and become the barrier it is intended to be? We refer to this as water solubility. Not all chemicals react the same, so you need to know and understand the solubility of your particular chemistry.
    2. How sensitive are weeds to the active ingredient? Again, not all chemicals are the same; some are better at controlling grasses, while others specialize in broadleaves. Knowing this simple characteristic about your chemistry is important.
    3. What is the lethal dosage for my particular active ingredient? While this factor is not widely known and published, weeds grow so fast in certain conditions, or soil is moved because of erosion, that weeds do not take in a lethal dose or enough of the active ingredient to kill the seedling.

    Purdue University Extension created a table referencing known water required for activation of soil-applied chemistries. I recommend growers take a look at this table before getting the sprayer out this growing season. Growers can also reach out to their local Stine agronomist for additional guidance.

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    A Closer Look at Stine® 04LH60 Brand Soybeans

    May 09, 2018

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    Corn planting is underway in many areas of the Corn Belt, which means soybean planting is just around the corner. Growers in the North are depending on early maturity soybeans like Stine® 04LH60 brand for high yields and season-long weed control this year.

    Stine 04LH60 is a high performer in our 04-maturity lineup and features excellent emergence and standability through harvest. Stine 04LH60 brand also boasts an excellent disease package, with RPs1c Phytophthora root rot resistance, as well as resistance to sclerotinia white mold and stem canker. Stine 04LH60 brand soybeans perform well planted at increased populations in narrow rows but can also excel in 30 inch rows.

    Like our entire Stine LibertyLink® soybean lineup, Stine 04LH60 brand combines high-yielding genetics with outstanding crop safety through built-in tolerance to fast-acting Liberty® herbicide. Liberty herbicide controls more than 120 broadleaf weeds and grasses, including ALS- and glyphosate-resistant weeds. There is no documented weed resistance to the unique mode of action of Liberty worldwide.

    To learn more about Stine 04LH60 brand soybeans, contact your local Stine representative or visit our website.