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Issue No. 10, Article 9/May 28, 2004

Regional Reports

Northern Illinois

Due to the continued rainfall, there has not been a great deal of planting activity for nearly 2 weeks. Most of the region received 2.5 to 3.0 inches of precipitation from May 17 to 23. There has been some flooding near creeks and rivers, and some field ponding has been reported. There will be some replanting, but mostly in small areas of individual fields adjacent to streams. Producers considering replanting are encouraged to review information in the Illinois Agronomy Handbook, which focuses on expected corn yield due to calendar delay in planting. There have been several reports concerning soil-applied herbicide damage in corn. Warmer temperatures would cure most injury symptoms.

Soybean planting has occurred during the past week but in limited areas. Several reports of bean leaf beetle feeding have been received, but to date populations have not warranted insecticide treatment.

Other field activities last week included herbicide application and alfalfa harvest. First-cutting alfalfa quality may be poor to fair due to rain damage or late-maturity harvest.

Southern Illinois

Fields finally dried enough from the previous week's storms that some soybean got planted on Monday. Storms rolled back into the area on Tuesday, dropping nearly 2 more inches across much of the area. Continued rain is forecast through the rest of the week.

Corn fields are beginning to show effects from excess soil moisture, with more poorly drained fields becoming yellow in spots. No-till cornfields in the southeastern section of the region that had heavy infestations of winter annual grasses are especially affected.

Soybean fields planted just before the wet period began have emerged amazingly well, all things considered. A few areas may need to be replanted, however.

Wheat condition is beginning to deteriorate, with head scab becoming obvious in most fields. Foliar diseases, such as septoria leaf blotch, are also working their way up toward the flag leaf. Reports of armyworm damage above threshold levels are coming in primarily from I-70 and northward. However, a field survey transecting Madison County showed only minor numbers of armyworms south of I-70, reinforcing the need to scout and make treatment decisions field by field.

There have been reports of alfalfa foliar disease causing significant growth reduction in some second-cutting fields. Unfortunately, the fungicide choice for control of alfalfa foliar diseases is limited to copper hydroxide, which is not very effective.

Yellow field peas are 14 to 20 inches tall,and are in the process of blooming and setting pods.

West-Central Illinois

Crop conditions seem to be very good. Corn is 100% planted, with the earliest-planted corn at the 6-leaf stage. There are some scattered reports of hail, wind, and water damage over the last few days. On the insect side, we have seen damage from wireworms and armyworms and an unconfirmed report of corn borer moths.

Soybean is 90% to 95% planted at this point and most of it has emerged, as it has been several days since farmers have been able to get into their fields due to the frequent rain. Rain totals over the last week have ranged from 1 to 6 inches over the region.

First cutting of hay is close to 50%, but much of that has not been baled. It will likely be difficult to find first-cutting hay that has not been rained on at least once.

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