Issue No. 24, Article 5/November 7, 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.
Soybean harvest is complete for all practical purposes in the northern region. Yields were variable and ranged from mid-40s to 70 bushels per acre, with a common yield in the low 50s. Lyle Paul at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center reports that the U of I soybean variety trial yields ranged from the low 40s to 60s. Individual variety yields from the Variety Testing Program locations are available at vt.cropsci.uiuc.edu.
Completion of corn harvest is varies widely--over 70% has been harvested in the southern fourth of the region, about 50% to 60% in Whiteside and Lee counties, approximately 30% in parts of Ogle County, and less in some areas of the far northwest. Early reports of yields have been very good, ranging from 200 to 230 bushels per acre. However, many acres of later- planted corn have yet to be harvested.
Because the first killing frost occurred later than normal, even most soybean planted very late reached maturity successfully. Excellent weather has permitted harvest to progress rapidly throughout the region, and yields are coming in higher than many expected based on the late planting date.
Corn harvest is also progressing, but at a slower pace. Corn planted in mid-June has been slow to field-dry. Growers without adequate drying systems have to decide between waiting for field drying below 20% or to deliver directly to the elevator and take a substantial moisture dockage.
Late harvest has impacted wheat planting, with most of the crop planted well past the fly-free date. Estimating wheat acreage is always difficult, but it seems to be down substantially from last year.
Harvest completion ranges from finished to perhaps 50% completed. Those areas to the north and east more complete than areas to the south west. Corn yields, even with late planting (June) have been excellent. Although moisture levels have not dropped as fast as was expected.
Soybean harvest mirrors that of corn, with some completed while others have another 4-5 days of good weather to finish up. A lot of acres have been harvested over the past 7 days. Like corn yields, soybean yields have been good to excellent.
Tillage work, where the crop has been harvested, is progressing, although slowly. Some dry fertilizer and anhydrous have been applied.