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Farmers Achieve Highest Yields

For decades,Stine Seed Company’s breeding program has been regarded as the most renowned private breeding program in the country, supplying genetics for approximately half of all the soybean acres planted in the Midwest.

“Agriculture is in the strongest position it has been,” says Harry Stine, founder and president of the nation’s largest independent seed company. “Still, farmers are always looking for the highest yield.”

Stine says customers have access to new trait technologies along with Stine germplasm, considered to be the best genetics on the market. New lines are vigorously tested so that only top-performing soybeans are offered to farmers.

Stine tests nearly 1 million unique soybean varieties and holds nearly 800 seed, breeding and equipment patents. Stine also tests more than 100,000 preliminary corn hybrids annually.

“We test more genetically unique lines than anyone else in the industry,” says Stine. “Plus our seed breeding teams are able to bring newer, higher-yielding genetics to market faster and more efficiently.”

That’s why a substantial portion of all soybeans planted in the U.S. are developed by Stine.

“Approximately 70 percent of the soybean genetics being grown today originated in our breeding program,” Stine says. “There isn’t a LibertyLink soybean planted in the United States that didn’t come from here.”

Breeding and Testing

Stine Seed Co. spends about six years breeding and testing soybean lines before they are brought to market.

In the past decade, Stine’s biotechnology’s group created the Aerosol Beam Injector (ABI), its own proprietary system for genetic transformation in plants. ABI offers Stine and its strategic partners freedom to insert traits from any source into Stine’s bank elite germplasm. In addition, the new technology creates plant transformation opportunities not previously possible.

Over the years, Stine Seed has bred their soybeans for higher yields and superior standability, which has resulted in a different plant structure than soybeans of past generations, Stine explains.

“Today’s soybean varieties are, on average, 12 to 18 inches shorter than they were 40 years ago,” Stine says. “This is partly because soybeans of that generation were bred to perform in 40-inch rows, while recent soybean research has been performed in 30-inch rows.”

Always working to stay ahead of the curve, Stine Seed has researched varieties that yield best for narrow rows and higher plant populations.

Stine predicts that narrow rows and higher plant populations will allow growers to better utilize the resources they have available, resulting in more bushels per acre and increased profitability.

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