Issue No. 23, Article 9/October 3, 2008
Extension center educators, unit educators, and unit assistants in northern, west-central, east-central, and southern Illinois prepare regional reports to provide more localized insight into pest situations and crop conditions in Illinois. The reports will keep you up to date on situations in field and forage crops as they develop throughout the season. The regions have been defined broadly to include the agricultural statistics districts as designated by the Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service, with slight modifications:
- North (Northwest and Northeast districts, plus Stark and Marshall counties)
- West-central (West and West Southwest districts, and Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell, Mason, Menard, and Logan counties from the Central district)
- East-central (East and East Southeast districts [except Marion, Clay, Richland, and Lawrence counties], McLean, DeWitt, and Macon counties from the Central district)
- South (Southwest and Southeast districts, and Marion, Clay, Richland, and Lawrence counties from the East Southeast district)
We hope these reports will provide additional benefits for staying current as the season progresses.
Limited soybean harvest occurred last week, amounting to less than 5% of the total soybean acreage harvested throughout the region. Corn harvest has been minimal as well. With the warmer, drier conditions during the week of September 21, hay harvest took place, which is several weeks later than recommended for the region and may lead to some winter survival issues.
Dave Feltes, IPM extension educator, reported observing very few European corn borers during the annual fall corn borer survey in Bureau, Mercer, and Warren counties.
Lyle Paul, agronomist at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center located near DeKalb, reported that 110-day corn planted on May 10 had not reached black layer as of September 29.
Precipitation on September 29 was widespread throughout the region and has delayed harvest for a few days. Very little wheat has been seeded due to limited soybean harvest and the present moist soil conditions.
Harvest of both corn and soybean has tentatively begun during the past week. Harvest of late-planted corn in many areas of the west-southwest crop reporting district will be a challenge, as thousands of acres of corn are heavily lodged due to the heavy rainfall and high winds from Hurricane Ike. Most of the lodged corn was still at mid-R-5 maturity (dented, but milk-line only halfway down the kernel). Some fields are totally flattened, and the bottom layers of corn are acquiring the smell of silage.
Harvest has started in the region for both corn and soybeans. The harvest pace has been slow, as corn moistures are higher than producers would like considering the high cost of drying this year. Rain early in the week slowed harvest for a couple of days. Most producers will be switching to harvesting soybeans, as most beans are rapidly reaching maturity. Some matured normally, and others were "helped" along by a few pathogens. This will be an unusual harvest compared to recent years, as soybeans will be harvested before most of the corn. Early yield reports seem to be good, but not many fields have been completed yet.