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. 



    May 11, 2023

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Stine® is successful thanks to the efforts of our employees, representatives and agents out in the field who work tirelessly to make sure Stine genetics are living up to their full potential.

    “We at Stine are extremely proud to be entering our 45th year in sales,” says David Thompson, national marketing and sales director for Stine. “Through the years, we have grown from a small regional seed company to a national brand, and in doing so, our field team has grown from 10 Midwest regions just over a decade ago to 36 regions all across the United States.”

    It takes a lot of people to manage a national seed brand and to meet the needs of our grower customers. Along the way, those grower customers may interact with multiple Stine ambassadors. Some of the players in the field represent our agricultural sales and agronomy teams who are essential in helping our customers make the right decisions for their operations.


    Independent Sales Representatives

    In terms of front-line agriculture sales professionals, Stine has independent sales representatives (ISRs) and corn sales specialists across the United States. ISRs serve as the designated brand ambassador for Stine corn and soybeans within an assigned territory. ISRs are tasked with leading our agricultural sales efforts, including managing existing accounts, finding new business, and developing and enhancing direct relationships with growers and potential customers. Corn sales specialists’ responsibilities are similar, although their primary focus is on Stine’s corn portfolio. Corn sales specialists develop and maintain a thorough agronomic and technical knowledge of our corn products and services and develop and manage Stine corn data plots throughout the territory. They also manage their own accounts and recruit new accounts. 

    Regional Sales Agronomists (RSAs)

    Stine regional sales agronomists (RSAs) are the primary regional lead for agricultural sales, agronomy information, and support for the area sales team. RSAs are responsible for understanding the agronomic requirements, needs and issues of their assigned area and providing ISRs, dealers and customers guidance on determining the strengths and proper placement of Stine seed products.


    Stine employs a team of skilled technical agronomists to help our sales team understand and place our products for best performance. Our agronomy team implements our plot program to better understand the new corn and soybean genetics coming from Stine and is available to assist with grower questions.


    Stine’s plans are for continued growth. Because of this, Stine is always looking for good people to add to its team. If you or someone you know might fit the profile for any of our open career options in agriculture, whether it’s a family member, friend, someone you have worked with in the past or whom you would want to do business with, please direct them our way.

    To learn more about our open positions, view our ag career finder on our website or visit or




    May 04, 2023

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management


    With 26% of the nation’s corn crop planted — twice the rate at this time a year ago — it’s not too early for growers to consider common corn diseases that might impact their crop this growing season. It’s important to understand what diseased corn looks like, when and why diseases occur, and how to stop or slow the spread once a field has been infected.

    “Throughout the growing season, corn must fend off several diseases, such as northern corn leaf blight and tar spot, to thrive,” says Tom Larson, Stine’s director of agronomy. “Knowing what corn disease looks like, what type of disease it is and how to treat it is crucial to your corn crop’s survival and ability to reach its maximum yield potential.”


    For a corn disease to take place, three factors must coexist: a pathogen, a susceptible host and favorable environmental conditions — otherwise known as the disease triangle. Common corn diseases can include seed rots and seedling blights; later in the season, foliar diseases and stalk and ear rots can occur. Planting corn on corn can increase the risk of disease as many can overwinter in infested corn residual.

    “There are a number of fungal and bacterial diseases of corn represented across the country,” says Larson. “Your corn crop is always vulnerable, so it’s important to research and understand the factors causing the disease in your field and how to move forward and mitigate it this season and into the next.”


    As a grower, you’re likely familiar with most corn diseases and how they can damage your production year after year, especially if not treated accordingly. The four most common types of corn disease are gray leaf spot, tar spot, northern corn leaf blight and common rust; however, it’s important to note there are still other less common diseases.

    Gray leaf spot is caused by the fungus Cercospora zeae-maydis and occurs nearly every growing season. The gray leaf spot disease cycle begins when the fungus overwinters in corn residue and then spreads via rain and wind. It thrives in warm, wet environments and has symptoms similar to other foliar diseases. Spores germinate and infect leaves, causing lesions on the leaves that impact the lower part of the corn stalk and then move to the higher leaves as the disease progresses. Gray leaf spot can be detrimental to yield, and disease severity depends on hybrid susceptibility and environmental conditions. According to Purdue University Extension, the lesions on an infected plant can reduce the number of photosynthetic areas on leaves, which leads to fewer carbohydrates available to the developing grain. Scouting for gray leaf spot should take place a few weeks before and after tasseling around the V15 to R4 stage.

    Like gray leaf spot, tar spot overwinters in corn residue. It is caused by the fungus Phyllachora maydis, and hot, wet conditions accelerate its spread. If left untreated, tar spot can cause leaf deterioration, poor grain fill, comprised stalks and even plant death. A severely impacted field can reach yield losses upwards of 60 bushels per acre. Tar spot symptoms include small, raised black spots that resemble fisheyes scattered on both sides of leaves. Scouting for the disease is recommended between the R3 and R6 growing stages.

    Northern corn leaf blight is a common corn disease caused by the fungus Setosphaeria turcica. The disease thrives in cool, wet conditions and has a disease cycle similar to gray leaf spot and tar spot as it overwinters in the ground in corn residue. Northern corn leaf blight can be detected by tan streaks or lesions that are parallel to the leaf structure. Symptoms usually first appear on the lower leaves. The best time to scout for northern corn leaf blight is from V15 through R4.  

    Common rust in corn is caused by the fungus Puccinia sorghi and occurs every growing season. It is environmental and prolific in cool, wet conditions. It is rarely harmful to yield compared to grey leaf spot, tar spot and northern corn leaf blight. Common rust symptoms occur between V12 and R4 and include sporadic rust-colored pustules, which can be detected on both sides of the leaves.


    Proper corn disease management involves selecting corn products with genetic resistance to these diseases, using best management practices, such as tillage and crop rotation, and timely application of seed fungicides. Planting corn after corn is discouraged due to diseases lurking in crop debris. Additionally, avoiding poorly drained soils can prevent some diseases from taking over your crops. Planting at the right time and when the weather outlook is favorable can help keep diseases at bay. Early planting is recommended unless soils are excessively cold and wet.

    Stine offers high-performing seed corn with the industry’s most desirable trait packages to help combat disease and yield loss. Reach out to your local Stine agronomist or sales rep for more information on how to treat common corn diseases and prevent them from infecting your crops next year.


  • A sweet advantage: Stine® soybeans are a perfect pairing for the Vidalia onion industry

    A sweet advantage: Stine® soybeans are a perfect pairing for the Vidalia onion industry

    April 27, 2023

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    Stine is synonymous with corn and soybeans, but we’re also taking part in something exciting in the onion industry, and we think it’s pretty “sweet.”

    Southern Georgia is home to rich, well-drained soils that are low in sulfur. This environment contributes to the sweet flavor of Vidalia onions — Georgia’s state vegetable. According to Explore Georgia, more than 14,000 acres of Vidalias are grown in the region, and around five million 40-pound boxes are shipped each season. Vidalias are a milder onion that are only found in Georgia, not just because of the environment that supports the crop’s unique flavor, but because of the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986 that states only 20 counties in the U.S. (all in Georgia) are allowed to grow and market the crop. The legislation trademarked the name “Vidalia onions,” so those who mimic the product outside the region cannot market the crop after its namesake. 

    So, where does Stine fit into the equation with the more than 80-year-old Vidalia onion industry? Crop rotation.

    It boils down to genetics and timing.

    Scott Wagner, key accounts manager for Stine, has spent the last two years traveling to the Vidalia region, specifically to Toombs County, where growers have quickly recognized the advantages of Stine soybean genetics.

    “Stine soybeans are gaining ground in the region because of the genetic material we have available for that environment,” says Wagner. “Growers typically rely on other cash crops, such as peanuts and corn, to rotate into the mix after an onion harvest because soybeans aren’t always as profitable. But with Stine’s advanced lines of conventional and Enlist E3® soybeans, Vidalia growers now have access to the industry’s leading material in maturities more conducive to their environment.”

    Growers can easily rotate from Vidalias to soybeans and back again without missing a step, thanks to Stine’s shorter maturity products.

    “It all boils down to timing,” says Wagner. “Planting season for Vidalias begins mid-November, the crop overwinters in the soil, and then harvest starts in April and is typically completed by mid-May. Growers can plant soybeans immediately after, churn the crop and get it out of the field before the next onion season begins.”

    But soybeans haven’t always been a viable crop rotation option in the region.

    “A few years back, you might find growers using 7.0 maturity soybeans, and they weren’t getting the time or growing degree days the crop needed to produce yield,” says Wagner. “Now, we’re pushing our 4.6 to 5.8 maturity products, and growers are getting more pods, not just vegetation. It’s becoming a cash crop option for them, and we’re seeing an average 60–65 bushel/acre in the region — a clear improvement from a few years ago.”

    Other benefits of soybeans include the nitrogen credits they leave behind in the soil and clean fields after harvest.

    “Soybeans not only inject more nutrients for the onions, they leave behind less biomass than other crops, making it easier to start planting right after soybean harvest,” said Wagner. “There’s also the advantage of herbicide residuals with the Enlist program. Unlike other herbicides, the onion crop is not impacted by the leftover residual, so it’s safe to apply with your soybean crop. Vidalia seed beds must be clean to plant the crop, so soybeans are beneficial in that aspect as well.”

    Another consideration leading growers to rotate to soybeans — the diseases for both crops are different. Soybeans are a good transition crop for growers battling common onion diseases such as pink root or sour skin.

    “The diseases soybeans fight are completely opposite of what onions fight,” said Wagner. “It’s not a true rotation if you can’t get away from a certain disease pressure.”

    All hands on deck

    Onion production is a tedious but rewarding business for growers in the region, and it’s their No. 1 priority. Soybeans are becoming more profitable for them, but there’s no replacement for their Vidalia business. And it keeps them busy.

    “The Vidalia planting season technically starts in November, but as seedlings the crop spends roughly 45–60 days growing in a seed bed. This process starts in September,” says Wagner. “Each grower has their own seed bed. They typically pick a field or two and plant their own Vidalia nursery. Because they are bare root transplants, they must start their growing process in a nursery. After they’ve reached the proper stage for planting, workers add them to sacks as bundles to be planted again as a complete crop.”

    Something unique to Vidalias is they are planted and harvested by people and not machines — an effort that requires all hands on deck.

    “Workers transplant the onions from the nursery to the fields by hand,” says Wagner. “And at harvest, the workers come back to pick the onion and cut the greenery. There are machines that help the process, but at the end of the day, each onion is touched in the field. It’s a very labor-intensive process.”

    A niche market

    Although not the primary crop in the area, Stine soybeans have found a niche market in southern Georgia.

    “Our soybeans are working well down there,” says Wagner. “Our conventional soybeans are performing, and our Enlist E3 lines are also shining. Outside our genetics, we hear growers say they’ve been waiting for a company like Stine — a family-owned business that isn’t just telling them what to do. We’re there to support them however they need us.”

    Stine president Myron Stine recently spent time with growers in the region to discuss Stine’s position in the industry and how Stine can help increase profitability for their secondary crop market. We’ve hired an independent sales representative in the area who supports our growers in the region and is available to assist with any agronomic questions they may have, including product placement, row spacing and population considerations.

    “We really admire these growers,” says Wagner. “They plant and harvest something almost every month; they don’t get any time off. It’s been a pleasure learning about their operations and the Vidalia onion industry. It’s truly a unique and beautiful crop. We’re just happy Stine can help with the process.”