Issue No. 25, Article 6/December 5, 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.
Corn harvest has been slow to wrap up, but progress has been made the last few weeks, with only scattered fields remaining. High corn moisture has slowed harvest the entire fall as elevators have been closing in early afternoon to catch up with drying. Corn moisture has still been averaging about 20% or more the last few weeks. Yields generally have been better than expected considering the cool spring and some less-than-timely planting. There were consistent 210-plus yields in the southern third of the region. Soybean yields were higher than average, with many producers reporting yields in the mid- to high 50s.
Fall tillage and anhydrous ammonia application have been taking place the last few weeks; to date there has been considerably less fall-applied nitrogen compared to past years. Most of the northern region had 2 to 5 inches of snow on November 30-December 1, which will further slow fall field activity.
There is just an isolated field or two of corn to harvest yet. Some of these are still very wet (25% moisture or more). The crop is standing remarkably well.
Yields were exceptional, especially in light of planting dates much later than normal.
Fall tillage has been completed for the most part. Fertilizer application has not followed suit. Producers who purchased NH3 and dry fertilizer this summer (at prices lower than the current ones) are about the only ones applying product. Those who didn't buy early are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
Based on seed purchases thus far, it doesn't appear that the crop mix of corn and soybean will change much on many farms. However, wheat acres are going to be many fewer than anticipated, due to late harvest and wet soils.