Issue No. 1, Article 8/March 19, 2009
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.
There have not been any reports of tillage activity as fields are still drying out from the heavy rainfall events during early March. The rainfall of March 6 through March 8 created erosion gullies, particularly on soybean stubble and around fall-seeded waterways. Daytime temperatures have only consistently reached the high 50s or more this week. Sunny, windy days are contributing to fields drying out.
Some nitrogen was applied to wheat before the early March rainfall. Most wheat appears to be greening up nicely, but standing water and ice throughout the winter have damaged some stands.
Extension educators will be monitoring black cutworm moth traps this spring and we will share results via the Bulletin.
Overall, crop development and fieldwork seem to be a week to 10 days later than what has been typical for several years. A small amount of tillage is being started, and some ammonia is being applied. Wheat throughout the region has broken dormancy and ranges from Feeke's Growth Stage 3 to 5. Nitrogen has already been applied on a third to half of fields, and untreated fields should be receiving it now. Although many fields appear thin due to late planting and reduced tillering last fall, stands are uniform and plants appear healthy. Winter-kill seems to be minimal. With warmer weather now here, tillering has resumed and stands should fill in rapidly. Thin stands have allowed winter annual weeds to proliferate in some fields, and these will need to be controlled.