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. 

  • Trade show bound
     Image

    Trade show bound

    January 26, 2023

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Whether you’re in the market for corn and soybean seed or timely agronomic advice, agriculture trade shows can be great venues to get the answers you need before the planting and growing seasons commence. The 2023 trade show season is in full swing, and Stine® will have a presence at multiple events throughout the next few months, including the Iowa Ag Expo next week — the third largest indoor ag show in the country. Find out what we have scheduled in the near future and down the road.  

    January
    Midland Empire Ag & Rural Lifestyle Show, St. Joseph, MO (St. Joseph Civic Arena) — Friday, Jan. 27 – Saturday, Jan. 28

    Iowa Ag Expo, Des Moines, IA (Iowa Events Center) — Tuesday, Jan. 31 – Thursday, Feb. 2

    February
    Southern Farm Show, Raleigh, NC (North Carolina State Fairgrounds) — Wednesday, Feb. 1 – Friday, Feb. 3.

    Wisconsin Corn & Soy Expo, Wisconsin Dells, WI (Kalahari Conference Center) — Thursday, Feb. 2 – Friday, Feb. 3

    National Farm Machinery Show, Louisville, KY (Kentucky Exposition Center) — Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Saturday, Feb. 18

    Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, Memphis, TN (Renasant Convention Center) — Friday, Feb 24 – Saturday, Feb. 25

    Western Farm Show, Kansas City, MO (American Royal Complex) – Friday, Feb. 24 – Sunday, Feb. 26

    March
    Eau Claire Farm Show, Eau Claire, WI (Chippewa Valley Expo Center) — Tuesday, March 7 – Wednesday, March 8

    Wichita Falls Ranch, Farm and Hemp Expo
    , Wichita Falls, TX ( JS Bridwell Agricultural Center) — Friday, March 10 – Saturday, March 11

    Texas Cotton Ginners Show, Lubbock, TX (Overton Hotel & Conference Center) — Thursday, March 30 – Friday, March 31

    April
    Oklahoma City Farm Show, Oklahoma City, OK (OKC Fairgrounds) — Thursday, April 13 – Saturday, April 15

    July
    Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, Baraboo, WI (Badger Steam & Gas Engine Club grounds) — Tuesday, July 18 – Thursday, July 20

    August
    Dakotafest, Mitchell, SD (Dakotafest grounds) — Tuesday, Aug. 15 – Thursday, Aug. 17

    Farm Progress Show, Decatur, IL (4275 E Mound Rd.) — Tuesday, Aug. 29 – Thursday, Aug. 31

    October
    South Texas Farm and Ranch Show, Victoria, TX (Victoria Community Center) — Wednesday, Oct. 25 – Thursday, Oct. 26

    November
    Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, Amarillo, TX (Amarillo Civic Center) — Wednesday, Nov. 29 – Thursday, Nov. 30

    December
    Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo, Westfield, IN (Grand Park) — Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Thursday, Dec. 14

    Not attending a local trade show but still interested in learning about our products and services? Find a local sales rep near you.  

  • What we have learned (especially in dry years) as the market share of Enlist E3® rapidly increases
     Image

    What we have learned (especially in dry years) as the market share of Enlist E3® rapidly increases

    January 19, 2023

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    As we prepare for the release of the G series line of Stine Enlist E3® soybeans with our seed growers for 2023 seed production, this means we have seen the introduction of seven generations of Stine Enlist E3 soybeans and have witnessed the market share for these products rapidly increase. In fact, it’s anticipated that Enlist E3 soybeans will make up more than 50% of the market share in 2023. Fortunately, this also means that Stine reps have seen these products firsthand in several different field environments and varying weather conditions over the years, which allows us to provide valuable recommendations to our grower customers, especially when it comes to weed control.  

    “Even though we do not sell herbicides at Stine®, we continue to work closely with Corteva reps and our grower customers to make solid agronomic recommendations for their operations,” says Tony Lenz, technical agronomist for Stine. “From timely applications of 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate to general best management practices, we’re well equipped to support our Enlist E3 customers in the 2023 planting and growing seasons. That said, it starts with taking a close look at the growers’ current environmental conditions, in addition to their extended weather forecast and how actively their weeds are growing throughout the season to help inform them of the best strategies for weed control.”

    As Enlist E3 acres continue to grow, we have learned many valuable lessons, especially over the past few years when drought conditions have persisted.

    “Growers often question the effectiveness of their weed control program in dry conditions,” says Lenz. “But we’ve worked with Enlist herbicides and the Enlist E3 trait long enough to know the program works even in drought years. Scott Jungman, Iowa Enlist field specialist for Corteva, has passed down some incredibly valuable information to help educate our grower customers on getting the most of their Enlist E3 acres with the Enlist herbicide program.”

    Here are some of the top recommendations for our growers to consider as we near the 2023 planting and growing seasons.

    Recommendation 1: Use the right timing

    Don’t wait to make your Enlist applications. Enlist has spoiled some into thinking they can use the product as a “rescue” or a “spray last” type of program. Simply spray weeds when they are on label which will ensure weeds are smaller and have fewer growing points. Spraying later usually means we will hit hotter, dryer weather. This causes weeds to harden off with thicker, waxy cuticles that all herbicides have a tough time penetrating. Lastly, spraying later means weeds will be larger and could be above our 6" label requirements.

    Recommendation 2: Use the right chemistries

    If we do see dry conditions or later applications when weeds harden off, look at using crop oil concentrates or methylated seed oils as surfactants, and use them at full rates with the correct nozzles, such as AIXR Tee Jet or the AITTJ twin fans. Make sure to consult with your Enlist herbicide dealer or go to Enlist.com to review the section on qualified nozzles for use with Enlist One® or Enlist Duo® herbicides.

    Recommendation 3: Use the right equipment and pressures

    “Scott Jungman shared some very strong points on how to use your sprayer to control tough weeds like waterhemp,” says Lenz. “He says, ‘Take back your sprayer and use it for what it was designed to do. With dicamba, we used TTI nozzles that were first and foremost designed to put out ultra-coarse-sized droplets that didn’t drift, but at the same time didn’t give good weed coverage. Remember to use less coarse spraying nozzles that give better coverage.’” He also recommends using AMS, or ammonium sulfate, as a water conditioner as an additive to get more chemicals into the plant. Run pressures up to the higher end of the approved range. This could mean going as high as 50 to 60 psi. Last, and most importantly, raise spray pressure to no less than 20 GPA when you use Enlist and glufosinate. You may also want to go to 15 to 20 GPA when mixing Enlist with glyphosate.

    Interested in learning more about Stine Enlist E3 soybeans and the Enlist system? Contact us or visit our website.  

  • The tillage conundrum
     Image

    The tillage conundrum

    January 12, 2023

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    To till or not to till? That question weighs heavy on growers’ minds each spring before planting season. Some growers might go all in with heavy tillage, while others may consider minimum tillage or no-till for a number of reasons. Nevertheless, it’s important to approach tillage by understanding how it affects overall soil health and fertility, in addition to disease, weed and insect pressure.  

    “Tillage as a whole doesn’t improve soil quality,” says Ian Matzenbacher, technical agronomist for Stine®. “It usually reduces the structure and water-holding capacity of the soil, but it also typically provides short-term relief on weed and disease pressure in addition to fertility.”

    Types of tillage

    No-till. No-till is exactly as it sounds — a strategy where the soil and residue are left undisturbed after harvest. This can greatly increase the chances of soil-borne pathogens, weeds and insects returning to your fields next season due to overwintering in the soil or on residue of previously infected plants. For growers who experienced heavy insect, disease or weed pressure in 2022, no-till is likely not an effective strategy for 2023. That said, for growers who experienced clean fields, it may be a good way to reduce erosion and keep your nutrients where you need them.

    “With no-till, you’re not compromising the soil structure, which acts like a colander of sorts,” says Matzenbacher. “With more tillage, you work that ground to the point where a hard rain can impact the drainage of the soil, leading to more runoff of the soil and nutrients versus allowing the moisture to soak into the ground where it’s needed the most. No-till also helps minimize chances of compaction in your fields.” 

    Minimum tillage. This very common method is also considered a conservation tillage practice. With minimum tillage, growers lean on vertical tillage tools or field cultivators to work only the surface of the soil, from 1 to 5 inches below ground. This method digs deep enough to deal with foliar or soil-borne diseases and to break up residue. It also aids in killing insects and different pathogens by reducing the habitat for them to thrive in. Minimum tillage works best at reducing erosion and keeping a healthy layer of residue on the soil, along with destroying less root mass.

    “Nutrient leaching is greatly reduced with minimum tillage compared to heavier forms of tillage,” says Matzenbacher. “The more nutrients and water-holding capacity you can keep going into the next season should only improve your future crop’s health and, hopefully, yield.”

    Heavy tillage. Typically, heavy tillage occurs when growers turn to a disc, plow or any other equipment that moves the soil horizontally instead of vertically. Heavy tillage works the ground from a range of 5 to 10 inches. With the increased depth comes more disturbance in the soil profile and structure.

    “Heavy tillage reduces water-holding capacity, increases the chances of erosion and leaching, and destroys insect habitat, whether beneficial or harmful,” says Matzenbacher. “That said, while plowing destroys the moist soil structure and can lead to compaction, it can also flip over nutrients that have leached down to create a short-term boost in fertility with long-term consequences.”

    Tillage effect on specific diseases and insects that instigate diseases

    Soil-borne diseases can be managed with tillage by reducing the habitat and killing the pathogens or bugs along with their eggs. Some pathogens also are present in the plant residue itself, and tillage helps to break up the residue and incorporate it into the soil so long as you leave 30% or greater to reduce the effects of erosion.

      1. Foliar diseases. Tillage can help break up anthracnose, eye spot and other diseases that overwinter in the residue. Tillage helps bury it in the soil, giving the microbes time to break it down. There will always be some disease left over, but it will be harder for it to take over your fields. 

      2. Nematodes. There are some studies that show tillage is effective in destroying nematode habitat or even killing nematodes. Nematodes typically effect the roots of the plants. With tillage, it's harder for them to come back and destroy the root structure. This is also true of soybean cyst nematodes, eggs or boring beetles. However, something to keep in mind is that when you destroy the habitats of the yield-robbing pests, you also destroy those of beneficial ones as well. 

    The conundrum

    Which form of tillage, if any, should you consider this spring?

    “That’s where there should be checks and balances to all of it,” says Matzenbacher. “There’s not a simple answer. One thing will have a benefit, but it will be bad for something else. It’s all about what you want to achieve.”

    Interested in exploring whether or not tillage is the right path for you? Contact us to get started.