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. 

  • Late planting corn and soybeans? Here are some options.
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    Late planting corn and soybeans? Here are some options.

    June 02, 2022

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    Late-planted corn and soybeans are a concern for many growers across the U.S., especially for those in the northern Corn Belt — from Michigan to the Dakotas — as cool temperatures and rainfall persist. Even regions as far south as Kentucky have been affected by pendular weather keeping them out of the fields. For corn growers who have been unable to get their crops in the ground, not all hope is lost to save yield. But fertility management will be key to homing in on the full genetic potential of the seed.

    Fertility management
    When you lose growing degree days, high-yield potential can be affected, but proper fertility management can help. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach says, “The placement of small amounts of plant nutrients in bands offset to the side and below the seed row or in the seed furrow increases the concentration of nutrients near seedling roots.”

    If growers are not equipped to put a starter down, there are alternative ways to incorporate nutrients into your planned fertilizer program.  

    “Some growers may not have fertilized yet this year because of high input prices and weather concerns,” says Todd Schomburg, Stine’s director of agronomy. “That said, if you plant late, you need to consider using crop removal rates for your fertility program to protect the genetic potential of your seed. Remember to use realistic yield goals when applying nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. And, as in any good fertility management program, don’t skip the sulfur.

    If you conducted soil sampling last fall or early this spring, you likely have a good idea of what inputs are needed. But if you were unable to complete soil sampling, be sure to follow your state’s fertility recommendations.

    For example, according to Michigan State University Extension, crop nutrient removal for soybeans is .8 pounds per bushel of phosphorus and 1.4 pounds per bushel for potash. For corn, removal is .9 pounds per bushel of nitrogen, .37 pounds per bushel of phosphorus and .27 pounds per bushel of potash.

    Always keep in mind that the bigger the yields at harvest, the bigger the nutrient loss for your next crop.

    Crop switch
    If you’re past being able to plant corn, it’s time to consider a different crop. For growers who choose to switch to soybeans, make sure you consider which herbicides were previously applied to the ground. For example, if an HPPD inhibitor (HPPDi) was previously applied to corn, there are HPPDi-tolerant soybean options available, including Stine® LibertyLink® GT27® soybeans.

    “Because of their overall effectiveness, HPPDi herbicides are a staple in the U.S. corn market. It’s estimated that roughly half of U.S. corn acres have HPPDi-based chemistries applied to them. Fortunately, Stine LibertyLink GT27 soybeans have built-in tolerance to HPPDi/Group 27-based herbicides, which means they have extra protection against potential HPPDi/Group 27 carryover,” says Schomburg.

    If switching to a shorter-season corn product, consider a hybrid that’s tolerant to disease pressure. Cool temps and wet soils are a catalyst for disease growth so know which diseases typically affect your region in years like this and plan as best you can.

    Increased soybean populations
    We recommend growers who are faced with late planting of soybeans increase populations slightly.

    “When you increase populations on soybeans, the goal is to get more vegetative growth. This allows for an easier harvest and minimizes yield loss. And the taller and wider your plants get, they begin to shade the rows which helps limit weed competition,” says Tony Lenz, Stine corn technical agronomist.

    Tony adds that soybean growers still have time before they need to consider an alternative maturity. “If you already have something that aligns with your planting plan and region, there’s no need to switch to an earlier maturity just yet.”

    Seed treatments
    If you’re still waiting to plant soybeans, seed treatments, including inoculants, are still a viable option. Seed treatments help protect the genetic potential of your seed, which can be critical in a year such as this. Where cool, wet soils persist, so do diseases that thrive in these conditions.

    “We have a handful of seed treatment options available to help ward off the early onset of diseases and insects,” Schomburg says. “Stine XP soybean seed treatments come in four custom-blend formulations, including Stine XP Complete, Stine XP-F&I, Stine XP-F&I with BIOst® Nematicide and Stine XP-F. You can find information about each option on our website or by connecting with your local Stine sales rep or seed dealer.”

    Prevented plant deadlines
    One big thing to keep in mind as you consider what can be done with any acres left unplanted is the prevented plant deadlines for each state. Prevented planting provisions should be available in each insurance policy, but growers must recognize that any acres planted after the prevented plant date may be subject to less coverage. That said, it’s always a good idea to consult with your insurance company and local seed rep to discuss whether prevented plant coverage is a better option than late-planted hybrids or varieties.   

    For more recommendations on managing your late-planted corn or soybean acres, consult with your local Stine sales rep or regional sales agronomist.

  • Planting Progress Roundup: Part 2
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    Planting Progress Roundup: Part 2

    May 26, 2022

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    The May 23 Crop Progress Report states that 72% of the nation’s corn crop is in the ground, up from 49% last week. Of corn planted, 39% is emerged. For soybeans, 50% are planted, up from 30% last week. Corn planting is still 17% behind last year’s progress at this time, and soybeans are 23% behind last year’s planting numbers. Here’s what’s happening across the regions we serve:

    Brian Burnell, Region 16 RSA (northern Indiana)
    The northern half of Indiana has been very hit and miss. Just last Tuesday, I spoke with a grower on the southern edge who was done with corn and half done with soybeans, but the same day, a grower in the northern extreme still hadn’t planted anything. If I had to peg a number, I would say we are 65% done on corn and 40% on soybeans. I encourage growers to check soybean fields, especially as crusting has been a topic of conversation. I don’t think the issue is as big as it sounds, but we don’t want to miss a poor stand due to crusting and figure it out post spray time. Corn that is up looks great so far in my travels.

    Katie Lorenz, Region 21 RSA (northern North Dakota)
    North Dakota is, no doubt, the farthest behind this year when it comes to planting updates across the U.S. Saturated and cold soils from early spring snowfall and repeat rainfall are to blame. Slowly but surely the tractors and planters are starting to make their way from the shops to any dry dirt they can find. Corn planting is just underway, with only 20% of acres planted, well behind the 82% last year and the 67% average this time of year. Of the corn planted, only 1% has emerged, proving the cold spring temperatures are also well below average. For soybeans, only 7% of acres have been planted, whereas last year we were at 72%. We are all hoping the rain gives us a needed break to get these crops in the wet northern ground!

    Jake Anderson, Region 12 RSA (western Illinois)
    As in much of the Midwest, planting was delayed on account of wet field conditions and cool temperatures. Very little seed went in the ground in April. Things started picking up as May rolled around, and with the onset of a heatwave and clear forecast, it really broke loose. We’ve had a few rains since then but have been making steady progress. Some areas have experienced moderate amounts of replant as a result of crusted soil that had a negative impact on emergence. On the whole, our region is about 85% to 90% planted.

    Chad Kuehl, Region 5 RSA (south central and southeastern Nebraska)
    Lots of people are finishing up planting in Region 5 in southeast Nebraska. The biggest hurdle for a lot of growers in Nebraska was the constant wind that made it tough to get their pre sprayed ahead of soybean planting. With the warm weather last week, we saw corn emerging very quickly. We did have some cool temps this past weekend, where we saw a small amount of frost damage on soybeans in the northern part of my region (more on the no-till planted soybeans).

    Dustin Ellis, Region 4 RSA (central Iowa)
    Planting is close to complete for many growers in central Iowa. Like Nebraska, one big challenge growers faced in Iowa was frequent winds. This made it tough to put down their pre before soybeans were in the ground and corn emerged. We had 70+ degree temps last week, which allowed corn to emerge within six to seven days. Colder temps over the weekend slowed emergence in both corn and soybeans. That said, we just received much-needed rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, totaling close to 1.5 inches or more in some areas. The extended forecast looks great with some high 80-degree weather, which will get these last planted acres to emerge.

    Aaron Stockton, Region 9 RSA (southeastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, Oklahoma, northern Texas)
    In Region 9, we have been battling the weather all spring. Growers have been able to find enough dry days here and there to get most of their corn in. As the calendar continues to tick by, and it gets later and later, the question is what to do with corn acres that are still unplanted.. Those decisions are being made now. There have been a few soybeans go in the ground so far, but we still have time to get those acres covered. Despite all the rain, we have seen most acres emerge with decent stand counts. All in all, we have been in worse shape before, and with a few dry days and a little sunshine, we can get back on track fairly quickly.

    Bethany Oland, Region 7 RSA, (eastern South Dakota)
    While southern areas of South Dakota have been abnormally dry this spring and the northern portion of the state substantially wet, the one common factor has been the wind. Field work, planting, and spraying have definitely been a challenge for Region 7. Growers in southern South Dakota are currently dealing with crusting and dust storms, which leads too emergence issues and wind damage. Sawing-off of soybeans has been an issue in certain areas. 

    While cold temperatures and moisture delayed planting in the north, growers are finally getting into the fields. I would expect corn to continue to be planted through Memorial Day weekend, then we’ll see a switch to soybeans.

    For more information on planting progress or agronomic tips throughout the season, contact your local Stine sales rep.

  • Planting Progress Roundup: Part 1
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    Planting Progress Roundup: Part 1

    May 19, 2022

    Posted by Stine Seed in Planting

    Planting Progress Roundup: Part 1
    Last week, planting progress picked up with higher temperatures and drier conditions throughout the Corn Belt. According to the latest Crop Progress Report, 49% of the nation’s corn crop is in the ground with 14% emerged. On the soybean side, 30% are planted with 9% emerged. Stine regional sales agronomists (RSAs) also report an uptick in planting in many of their regions. Here are their updates.

    Tony Pleggenkuhle, Region 10 RSA (northeastern Iowa, southern Minnesota)
    In region 10, corn is 70% complete, and soybeans are roughly 40% complete. The few acres planted in April look good and are emerging evenly due to record-high temperatures and plenty of moisture during the first half of May. Acres planted in the last 10 days started to emerge within five days in some cases. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the rest of the crop to emerge in between periods of rain.

    Kevin Ryan, Region 14 RSA (Delta South)
    Corn planting is complete in Arkansas and Louisiana. Early-planted corn looks good after some heat, although we're a month behind normal corn planting dates — much of the corn crop was planted in late April and early May. Some growers switched corn acres to cotton, rice or soybeans. The latest-planted corn has had excellent emergence and looks very good. It may surprise us this year since it's off to a great start.

    Soybeans have been going in the ground hot and heavy every chance we get between rains. I estimate 50% are planted. Rice and cotton acres are also going in the ground in many areas.

    Tanna Parrish, Region 29 RSA (Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia)
    Planting in the Southeast has been in full swing these last few weeks. We've caught rain here and there, but crops are out of the ground and look great. We still have some folks wrapping up corn in the northern part of the territory, and soybeans will be going in the ground soon after wheat. We have a few potato growers completing harvest and gearing up to put in Stine products. Cabbage season finished a couple of weeks ago, and corn will be planted on those acres shortly. We have summer weather now with temperatures over 90 degrees, and corn is growing like crazy. It has been a long spring as we had a late frost that hurt or delayed some growers’ crops, followed by inches upon inches of rain. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we're still delivering corn and soybeans to growers trying to get wrapped up.

    Todd Oliver, Region 27 RSA (Texas)
    Corn in the Rio Grande Valley is in full tassel. The Texas Coastal Bend is in a major drought, and most cotton has failed. The corn is about 3 inches tall and tasseling. Many are waiting on insurance companies to visit. Central Texas needs rain, but most of the corn looks good with some of it starting to tassel. Planting proceeds in the panhandle and South Plains with drought conditions. Irrigation will be necessary.

    Paige Harris, Region 15 RSA (Michigan and New York) 
    Planting has finally started in the region. The late start was due to a wet and cold spring. The weather has warmed up during the last couple of weeks, and everyone is busy planting. Both corn and soybeans are going in the ground at the same time due to the late-season start. Most areas are around 50% done with planting. The ground has been warming up quickly due to above-average temperatures, which will lead to quick emergence once the crop is in the ground.

    Kevin Krabel, Region 13 RSA (Central Illinois)
    Things got off to a slow start throughout Region 13 with early, cold temperatures and seemingly constant rain showers. Mother Nature gave us a break in the weather over the past week or so, and most growers have taken advantage. We have many growers who are already done planting, some who need a couple more good days to wrap up and some who are about a quarter of the way there or less for various reasons. We  have some concerns with how hard the ground got recently, giving the soybeans a hard time emerging. But this last rain hopefully loosened things up enough to reduce the amount of replant we will need. More rain in the forecast this week might slow us down a little, but for the most part (except for growers with double-crop acreage), I think Region 13 will be close to planting completion in the next few weeks.

    Stay tuned for more from-the-field updates in next week’s edition of Stine Weekly.