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Planting into Cool Soils – Yes or No?

While research shows that the last 10 days of April is on average the best time to plant corn in Illinois, expectations of below-normal temperatures in most of Illinois during the last week of April has some wondering if it makes sense to plant now or to wait until temperatures warm up.… Read more

Black Cutworm Moth Captures Common in Several Midwestern States

Impressive flights of black cutworm and armyworm moths have been reported by Doug Johnson an Extension Entomologist at the University of Kentucky . Entomologists at Purdue University also have received reports that black cutworm moth captures are now common in many areas of Indiana.… Read more

Slowing the Evolution of Weed Resistance to Herbicides

Many individuals involved in production agriculture have first-hand experience with the numerous challenges caused by herbicide-resistant weeds.  The magnitude of herbicide resistance is best measured on a worldwide scale.  The most recent summary indicates 450 unique cases of herbicide resistance—encompassing 245 species—occur globally.  Approximately 11–12 cases of unique resistance are discovered each year.  Methods employed to detect and study the evolution of herbicide resistance have improved greatly over time, but our understanding of the epidemiology of herbicide resistance has lagged.… Read more

Spring Nitrogen Management – Form and Timing

Most corn producers have planned their spring N program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Such plans might include fall ammonia application, early spring application of ammonia or another form of N, or plans to apply all of the N at or after planting.… Read more

Nitrogen Management – Avoiding Ammonia Injury

A lot of anhydrous ammonia is going on this spring, and in many fields the hope is to plant as soon as practicable after NH3 application. This brings up the question about potential for NH3 damage to seeds and seedlings.… Read more

Don’t Forget about Marestail

The harsh realities of poor marestail control with burndown herbicides applied before soybean planting were widespread during the 2013 growing season.  We anticipated even more challenges with this species for the 2014 growing season, but by and large the forecasted marestail “train wreck” did not materialize in much of the state.  Fall herbicide applications coupled with a harsh winter that caused a high degree of mortality to winter annual weed species probably contributed to a reduced population of marestail last spring.  However, it is unwise to assume that a lower marestail population last year will translate into a low marestail population this year.… Read more

Newly Published Report Confirms Extensive Use of Insecticidal Seed Treatments in Field Crops

On March 20, 2015, an article published in Environmental Science and Technology confirmed the extensive use of neonicotinoids as insecticidal seed treatments in a wide variety of field crops across the United States. The authors of the article Margaret R.… Read more

Decisions About Winter Wheat and Weeds

The most recent report on the condition of the Illinois winter wheat crop indicated approximately 10% of the crop was rated poor or very poor, while close to 90% was rated fair to excellent.  It appears likely that much of the wheat crop will remain intact, but in other instances farmers might elect to terminate poorer stands and plant corn or soybean.  If the decision is made to plant corn or soybean into wheat stands where some plants remain alive, it is advisable to control any remaining wheat plants prior to planting either corn or soybean.  Controlling existing wheat stands may be accomplished through the use of tillage, herbicides, or a combination of these.… Read more

2015 Handy Bt Trait Table Now Available

In the transgenic era, the most important insect management decision a corn producer makes is deciding which type of corn hybrid to plant — a Bt hybrid or a non-Bt hybrid? This decision is typically made in the fall or early winter, well before planting ensues.… Read more

Online Survey on Soybean Farming Practices

Soybean farmers who take a ten-minute online survey will help University of Illinois crop scientists and Extension educators to better understand how decisions are made in their farms regarding soybean management and inputs and to tailor programs and projects to improve yields and profitability.… Read more