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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    Fall Field Prep: Soil Sampling for Top-End Yields

    November 14, 2018

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    With 84 percent of the corn crop and 88 percent of soybean acres harvested, the clock is ticking to prep your field for next planting season. The frigid winter temps are just around the corner, so plan accordingly to ensure your soil is in good health to support next year’s crop. Here are some top tips for fall soil sampling and other field prep. 

    Test Accordingly
    A soil test is only as good as the sample you submit. We recommend starting with a map to label where you plan to take the soil samples. From there, use a grid or zig-zag pattern for testing, taking 10–15 cores per sample for every 2.5 acres. Sample depth should be different for no-till versus tilled soil. For no-till, we recommend taking a sample at 3–4 inches, whereas for tilled soil, we recommend samples taken at 6–8 inches.

    Sample for pH
    According to the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations, for Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, pH levels should fall between the 6.0–6.5 range for corn and soybeans. If soil falls short of the 6.0 level by .2 or .3 pH units, liming is recommended. Because pH level recommendations can vary based on type of soil, we recommend working with a local soil fertility expert or your local university extension office to help test your soil samples and provide more localized recommendations.

    Don’t forget the P and K
    In addition to pH, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) should also be tested during fall soil sampling. However, it’s important to consider what crop is being placed in the field next year. Certain crops take more P and K than others, so follow guidelines set in place by your local extension office.

    Consider Sulfur and Zinc Applications
    While soil testing for sulfur is not recommended, it is important to apply it at the same time as nitrogen. Sulfur applications should be added at a rate of 7 to 14 percent. Sulfur is important for protein synthesis, which is necessary for plant vitality and development, including pollen development. Most sulfur in the soil is located in the organic matter and cannot be taken up by the plant until mineralization, which is when the sulfur is converted to sulfate, or SO4-2, by bacteria in the soil.

    Zinc plays an equally important role in the synthesis process. It produces growth hormones and proteins in that plant that are necessary for the production of chlorophyll and carbohydrate metabolism. Essentially, zinc is responsible for transporting calcium through the plant. Zinc can be produced by high levels of iron or phosphorus. 

    Remember, it’s not just about fertility
    Soil samples provide other field information aside from nutrients. Certain soil samples can also detect the presence of soybean cyst nematodes (SCN). In fact, there are ways to get soil tested for SCN free of charge through state soybean promotion boards. Consult with your local board to ask about available soil sampling programs and to confirm the proper sampling measurements and process for SCN testing.

    Even if your soil results show that there’s no need for additional nutrient applications or seed traits, sampling now could save you time and money next year. Crops cannot produce top-end yields without adequate nutrients and while the presence of pests still linger underground. Soil sampling is a simple step to get you the right solutions for your operation.

    For more advice on fall field prep and soil sampling, contact your local Stine sales agronomist.

  • Stine Seeking Independent Sales Representatives

    Stine Seeking Independent Sales Representatives

    November 07, 2018

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    Because of significant growth, Stine is seeking to add several new Independent Sales Representatives (ISRs) to its roster in 2018 and 2019. We have more than 50 new positions available throughout our territory, including in Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kansas. Individuals who choose a career with Stine have the opportunity to grow both professionally and financially with one of the most respected corn and soybean seed companies in the ag industry. Responsibilities include:  

    • Serve as primary ambassador of the Stine brand within the assigned territory
    • Manage existing dealer accounts and recruit new dealerships
    • Develop and enhance direct relationships with growers and potential customers
    • Work in conjunction with a Stine Regional Sales Agronomist to provide a high level of sales support within the assigned territory.

    Interested candidates should have three or more years of ag experience, including previous experience in agronomy, crop production or sales. Additionally, candidates should possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, a demonstrated knowledge of proven sales techniques, excellent negotiating skills and the ability to work with minimum supervision to meet established goals.

    As a member of the Stine team, ISRs are offered unlimited earning potential, freedom to operate, support from the industry’s most influential breeding company, and agronomic sales support from Stine’s reputable team of agronomists and sales experts.

    More information, including video testimonials from current sales team members, can be found on our website. To apply, visit

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    Six Things to Know About the Sustainability Cover Crop Initiative

    October 31, 2018

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    We’re excited to announce a collaboration with Peoples Company — one of the nation’s leading providers of land brokerage, management, appraisal and investment services — to offer land owners a paid-in-full cover crop program called the Sustainability Cover Crop Initiative. Through this collaboration, it’s possible to not only protect environmentally sensitive acres but also maximize yield on productive acres and improve overall return on investment through the use of cover crops. Here are six fast facts about this new initiative and how land owners can participate.

    1. The Sustainability Cover Crop Initiative is available to land owners in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri who agree to have their land managed by Peoples Company.
    2. Eligible land owners will receive cover crops paid-in-full (up to $30/acre), with a minimum of 120 acres and a maximum of 500 acres planted per client.
    3. The program will begin with the 2019 growing season and is available to newly established land management accounts with Peoples Company.
    4. For 2019, the hope is to enroll up to 10,000 acres.
    5. To participate, land owners must agree to a three-year term agreement that includes professional cover crop management by Peoples Company.  
    6. Land owners must also commit to planting Stine seed for the full three-year duration of the agreement.

    “At Stine, we understand that nothing is more important than caring for the land,” Myron Stine notes in the Oct. 2 announcement. “Through the years, we have implemented a number of processes on our own farm to aid in soil conservation, with high density corn being one of the most innovative. And we feel that cover crops are another component of a strong soil conservation program. That’s why we are pleased to partner with Peoples Company on this project.”

    Cover crops have been widely used in crop rotation to increase and/or reestablish nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil. They also can be used to prevent soil erosion and to manage insect populations and weed control. Stine looks forward to this venture with Peoples Company and working with land owners to preserve the integrity of our soil and continue good stewardship of the environment.

    To learn more about the Sustainability Cover Crop Initiative, we encourage you to contact Peoples Company or visit their website at