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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    Combating the European Corn Borer

    August 08, 2019

    Posted by Stine Seed in Crop Management

    One of the most common causes of poor crop yield, especially in corn, is the prevalence of the European corn borer. This grass moth, along with other similar insects, arrived in the Northeast United States in the early 1900s. Named for its prevalence in corn crops, the European corn borer can also drastically affect the yield of peppers, soybean, cotton, apples and more. This problem was remedied in the late 1990s with the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein, which helped protect crops for a number of years. However, Bt is slowly losing its effectiveness against insects like the European corn borer, which has built up a resistance to the protein.

    When in its larval stage, you can identify a European corn borer by its off-white colored body, dark-brown head and its smooth skin with dark round spots scattered across its body. The larvae can reach about one inch in length. As an adult moth, a borer can be identified by its yellow coloration and dark, “zigzag” markings across the wings. Identification and early treatment of infested crops is crucial because adult female moths can lay up to 500 eggs in their short lifespan. These eggs can hatch within a week’s time.

    Borers are present in the early summer months. As the larvae feed, you’ll notice damage to leaves in the form of shot holes. These larvae will eventually move to the more protected area of the plant sheath where they will continue to feed, molt and grow. Larvae will occasionally bore directly into the ears where they feed on kernels, which can result in broken stalks and rotting of the plant.  

    Control Tactics

    • Tillage. Till fields where borers were prevalent the previous year. Corn borers overwinter, so it’s important to disrupt their environment in the fall or in early spring before the adult borers emerge.
    • Utilize a good weed control program. Adult borers hide in tall grasses and weeds during the day. A good herbicide will keep most of the moths out of fields. Also, be sure to keep field edges and fence rows clipped.
    • Bt still does a great job controlling the borer population. Using transgenic corn hybrids that utilize Cry1Ab, Cry1F, Cry1Ac, Cry9c or Vip3A proteins can be very effective. Stine® Agrisure® Viptera brand corn ensures maximum yield by providing effective, season-long control over European corn borers and other harmful insects that can damage crops.
    • Pheromone traps can help determine the flight period for moths. When captured, experts can estimate the potential infestation levels in the area and help predict when the larvae will emerge and begin feeding on plants.
    • Many insecticides can be used for corn borer control. Granular formulations are recommended.

    Stine has a number of –10, –11 and –20 hybrids in a wide range of maturities that are excellent options for controlling corn borer, some of which include Stine 9212-10, 9316-20, 9436-11, 9714-20, 9728E-20, 9808E-20 and 9814-20. To learn more about these hybrids, contact your local Stine sales representative.


  • 2020 Stine Seed Catalog Now Available

    2020 Stine Seed Catalog Now Available

    August 01, 2019

    Posted by Stine Seed in Products

    Stine® is excited to offer an outstanding lineup of corn and soybeans for 2020. Now, you can view those options in our newly released 2020 Stine Seed Catalog, available online or by contacting your local Stine Seed sales representative. Here’s a sneak peek of what we have in store.

    With the industry’s largest soybean breeding program, we have an unmatched selection of high-performing soybean varieties in every maturity range with the trait packages growers want, including:

    Stinebrand Enlist E3™ soybeans: An advanced herbicide-tolerant trait technology with maximum flexibility and convenience, along with three unique modes of action for exceptional weed control — glyphosate, glufosinate and a new 2,4-D choline. Stine is proud to offer growers the broadest lineup of Enlist E3 soybeans in 2020, with 75 different options for growers to choose from.

    Stine brand LibertyLink® GT27 soybeans: A triple-stacked herbicide tolerant system, which offers exceptional yield potential combined with tolerance to three unique sites of action — glyphosate, Liberty® and a new HPPD/Group 27 herbicide (pending approval). We have 69 LibertyLink GT27 soybean varieties in our 2020 lineup.

    Stine brand GT27 soybeans: Combine ultra-high-yielding, elite soybean genetics with tolerance to both glyphosate and a new HPPD/Group 27 herbicide (pending approval). Soybeans containing this trait can also provide growers with an additional measure of protection against potential HPPD/Group 27 carryover. We have 11 GT27 varieties for growers to choose from in 2020.

    Stine Elite Soybeans: Our conventional soybean lineup consists of high-yielding varieties that excel in a number of different soil types and maturity zones. We have 31 conventional options in our new lineup.

    Stine operates one of the industry’s largest and most prolific corn breeding programs, developing and evaluating hundreds of thousands of unique hybrids each year. We’re pleased to bring growers the following corn options in 2020.

    Stine Conventional Corn: Not every situation calls for traits. Stine keeps its base breeding program conventional and is one of the only corn companies that actively develops NEW conventional genetics to sell to growers. We have 19 conventional corn options for growers to choose from in 2020.

    Stine Agrisure® Corn: Stine has a complete lineup of Agrisure trait corn in 2020 — 47 options to be exact. From above- and below-ground insect protection to in-crop tolerance to glyphosate and other herbicides, the Stine Agrisure portfolio continues to be one of the top-performing corn trait packages in our lineup.

    Stine HP Corn®A number of our traited and non-traited hybrids feature the Stine HP Corn designation. Stine HP Corn is our one-of-a-kind corn hybrid line created specifically for high-population environments. These hybrids tend to be shorter and narrower in stature and feature the stalk strength and disease package to thrive when planted in higher densities, helping growers achieve outstanding yields. Stine is offering 11 corn hybrids carrying the HP Corn designation in 2020.

    With such an extensive corn and soybean lineup, growers can be confident knowing that Stine will have the right option for every field in their operation. If you have any questions regarding the 2020 Stine Seed Catalog and our lineup, please contact your local Stine sales representative.


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    Extra Moisture? Watch for Waterhemp

    July 24, 2019

    Posted by Aaron Stockton in Crop Management

    As the name of the weed suggests, waterhemp — a member of the pigweed family that affects soybean fields — thrives in areas where there’s been a lot of moisture. This year, that’s pretty much the entire country. Flooding exacerbates the spread of waterhemp, which a few years ago used to be a problem only in the South but has gradually made its way up to the northern United States. Now, to make matters worse for growers, scientists have discovered another strain of herbicide-resistant waterhemp.

    According to the University of Illinois Extension, certain strains of waterhemp are now resistant to the Group 15 herbicide family. Extension experts note this includes herbicides with the following active ingredients: acetochlor, dimethenamid, metolachlor, pyroxasulfone and S-metolachlor. Waterhemp has also shown resistance to six other herbicide groups, including Group 2 (ALS inhibitors), Group 5 (triazines), Group 14 (PPO inhibitors), Group 9 (glyphosate), Group 27 (HPPD inhibitors) and Group 4 (2,4-D).

    What does this mean for soybean growers? Growers will need to use multiple herbicide families, mixing up different modes of action. If they have a weed that’s resistant to whatever herbicide they’re using, multiple chemical families within your chemical program are a must. Start with clean fields and then come back with a post-emerge after the crop is up and weeds are within the legal range. You can even come back and spray a different family within the post-emerge, adding additional residual into the mix.

    Growers who are using the Stine® Enlist E3soybean system this growing season will be at an advantage. Waterhemp shows itself to be increasingly problematic when it comes to single-mode or glyphosate-based soybean platforms. This reason is why we are so excited to see the Enlist E3 soybeans finally hit the market. So far, we have seen it in burndown scenarios, and the weed control of not just waterhemp but also marestail and other significant weeds has been absolutely fantastic! My expectation with all the rain we are receiving is that weed pressure will continue to be tremendous, and those weeds, especially waterhemp, will be very robust and tough to kill this year. Having a platform like Enlist E3 is a lifesaver because it offers three modes of action to tackle these weeds.

    Experts note waterhemp can reduce yields by up to 44 percent. Each waterhemp plant has the ability to produce up to one million seeds, making it extremely problematic to control. At Stine, we’re working diligently to test different traits and herbicide modes of action in our test plots. Our goal with these plots, located in Adel, Iowa; Edgerton, Kansas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Windom, Minnesota; and Reynolds, Indiana, is to test what works best against weeds in general. We’re looking at different types of applications and chemistries to see what’s going to do a better job this year in controlling all weeds. And with the wet condition this year, it’s going to be interesting to see which herbicide combination really works the best and how the weeds affect yield.

    Talk to your local Stine sales agronomist if you’re experiencing problems with waterhemp and other weeds this growing season.