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. 

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    Key Considerations Before You Begin Planting

    April 03, 2019

    Posted by Tony Lenz in Planting

    Some key factors to consider when we run into cool, wet weather early in the spring are seed selection, planting dates and soil temperature. We typically tell growers that planting earlier can lead to higher yields, but in times like these where we have experienced record snowfall and flooding, early planting may not be an option for growers in much of the Midwest.  

    Hybrid Selection
    For corn, in conditions like we’re experiencing this spring, ensuring we have the right hybrids to handle cool soil temperatures is key. We really need to focus on hybrids that have good cold emergence and vigor. If not, you may be left with seed that struggles to come out of the ground, resulting in yield loss. That being said, growers should still stick with their optimum maturity window for corn, if possible. If conditions persist and adjustments need to be made, they should be minor. 

    Corn Temps
    Having consistent soil temperatures before you start planting is key to ensuring germination and even plant stands. For corn, ideally if we can get the soil temperatures to 50 degrees consistently with a good long-term weather forecast, you should be good to plant. Corn will germinate below these temperatures, but you could run the risk of uneven or delayed emergence. 

    Soybean Temps
    We like to see consistent soil temps around 55 degrees before planting soybeans. It’s especially important to make sure low temps and frost aren’t in the forecast before hitting the field. Because soybeans are planted later, they are not at the same vegetative state as corn in early spring, so a hard frost can sweep through and kill off the plants after emergence. The growing point is above ground for soybean plants, whereas for corn plants the growing point remains underground until right around the V6 growth stage.

    Seed Treatments and Other Recommendations
    I typically recommend growers who are struggling with cool, wet soils to consider seed treatments for soybeans. Seed treatments allow the seed to sit in the soil longer, giving it more time to germinate and get up out of the ground. If seed treatments aren’t an option, I recommend growers use a starter fertilizer to encourage good root development and overall plant health.

    As always, soybean planting depth should remain between 1.5- to 2-inch range to promote the necessary root growth the plant will need during the growing season. For corn, I recommend the 2- to 3-inch range. 

    For more information about optimal planting conditions for your Stine corn and soybean seed, please contact your local sales agronomist or representative.

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    Stine Seed Company At-A-Glance

    March 28, 2019

    Posted by Stine Seed in Stine News

    As a family-owned company and the largest privately held seed company in the United States, Stine® is not subject to the whims of a disconnected corporate board and Wall Street investors, or the volatility of the stock market. We have the flexibility to make timely decisions that ensure our research, products and programs are leading edge. Here are some facts that show you how we got where we are today and how we help deliver the highest-yielding corn and soybean products to growers’ fields year after year.

    History
    The Stine name has a proud history dating to the 1940s when Bill Stine began cleaning public variety soybean seed with a portable cleaner. Since then, Stine has grown and expanded, becoming one of the most recognized and respected names in the corn and soybean industry. In fact, Stine is currently celebrating its 40th year in the retail seed industry and more than 50 years of soybean research. We also own more than 800 patents (in collaboration with affiliated companies). We are the industry’s largest privately owned seed company.

    Soybean Breeding
    Stine is synonymous with soybeans, and that’s because we’re home to one of the most prolific, highest-yielding soybean breeding programs in the world. That is why two-thirds of the soybean genetics planted in the United States each year are comprised of genetics developed by Stine. We’ve led the industry in the introduction of soybean technologies such as Stine® LibertyLink® soybeans and Stine Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans, and now we’re uniquely positioned to provide growers multiple new choices for weed management, including the latest new soybean technologies to hit the market — Stine LibertyLink® GT27 soybeans and Stine Enlist E3 soybeans. Stine currently possesses one of the industry’s broadest lineups of Enlist E3 soybeans for the 2019 growing season, with more than 37 options for growers to choose from this planting season.

    Stine Corn
    Though we’re known for soybeans, Stine actually owns and operates one of the industry’s largest and most prolific corn breeding programs. Keeping with our philosophy that breeding is a numbers game, we develop and evaluate hundreds of thousands of unique hybrids per year. We are one of only a few companies that breeds and develops its own corn inbred lines, which helps us deliver our customers more, diverse and profitable options.

    In fact, the success of our corn program proves that our research is working and the products we’re placing in growers’ fields produce yields and increase growers’ ROI. To keep the momentum going, we’re expanding our research by increasing our corn plots. To paint you a picture, last year, Stine planted 350,000 corn plots. This year, we’re planting close to 700,000. Next year, we’re on track to have more than 1,000,000 plots. Our corn breeding program is backed by data, and that data is only going to get stronger the more we continue to grow.

    High-Population Corn
    Historical data shows that a clear correlation exists between increased plant populations and increased yields. Stine is using this correlation to help growers maximize yields in their fields.

    For years, Stine has been using its own line of genetically unique inbreds to custom build Stine HP Corn® hybrids. These hybrids are ideally suited for planting in narrower rows and at higher populations, producing shorter, narrower plants than traditional hybrids, with leaves that grow upright to catch more sunlight. HP Corn hybrids produce plants that have superior standability and disease resistance to ensure they won’t lodge or break down prematurely under increased pressures, and they feature less biomass for more efficient water utilization, making them suitable for high populations.

    These new genetics, paired with narrower rows, are shaping the future of corn production. Visit our HP Corn microsite for more information.

    Research
    When it comes to research, yield is what matters most. Our breeders and scientists take their cues from the tradition of company founder Harry Stine, striving to reach the next level of excellence in corn and soybean performance. Being an independent seed company means we have the speed and agility to move seed aggressively through our research program and into your fields faster.

    Combined with our base of high-yielding genetics, priority access to key traits and technologies, a proven system to evaluate performance of those technologies and a channel to market, Stine is well positioned for success now and in the future. To learn more about Stine, our history and innovative corn and soybean breeding programs, visit our website.

  • Bill Kessinger Image

    Stine Conventional Corn: Increasing ROI without Decreasing Yields

    March 20, 2019

    Posted by Bill Kessinger in Products

    At Stine, we get asked a lot about our conventional corn. Because many people know Stine for our large soybean breeding program, they may not know we also breed a lot of corn. This puts us in a unique position because we are a genetics company first, and the base of our breeding program is conventional. In fact, we’re one of the only corn companies that actively develops new conventional genetics.

    Stine also has the advantage of being an independent, family-owned seed company. While we collaborate with trait platforms and trait providers, we are not solely tied to those products and companies. We have the ability to work with any trait or trait provider, allowing us to bring brand new conventional genetics to the market faster than the competition.

    Why is this important? Growers right now are looking for ways to save money. My main recommendation to growers is to not cut costs by selecting a lower-quality hybrid. You need the highest yield potential possible to have the highest revenue. So, when growers are trying to select hybrids, I recommend they find the highest-yielding hybrid and then try to find the best trait platform that fits their program. I recommend looking for the best herbicide and insect platforms for their needs. If they don’t need something that has rootworm or corn borer protection, then they don’t need to pay for it. We have several options for growers who need only a straight conventional platform. These lines are more economical but still deliver high-quality, high-yielding genetics.

    Stine conventional hybrids are very unique in the industry and can help growers maximize yield while cutting costs. Contact your local Stine sales rep for more details about our conventional corn options and best management practices for those options in 2019.