Issue No. 4, Article 10/April 17, 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.
Heavy rains have delayed much field work. Some limited tillage and fertilizer and herbicide applications have occurred. Only a couple of corn fields have been planted.
Several growers are still trying to get into fields for spring seedling of forages.
Some wheat fields are showing significant winter injury.
Field activity, though not widespread, was observed late last week throughout the region, including tillage, anhydrous ammonia application, preplant herbicide application, and oat/forage seeding. Rainfall on Monday, April 13, halted field work; several observers recorded 0.4 to 0.6 inch of precipitation.
Wheat looks good for the most part, but growth has been slow this spring due to the cold temperatures. Some fields have small dead areas where ice stood during the winter or where the soil has been saturated for long periods.
Several extension educators have reported readily catching black cutworm moths last week, but the only reported "intense moth capture" to date occurred on April 10 at the Lee County trap location.
Two inches of rainfall during the past week has kept field work at a standstill. Wheat development ranges from Feekes 6 (one node visible) to Feekes 7 (two nodes visible) on the more advanced fields. Some early development of fungal disease can be found on the lowest leaves of some fields.
New growth on alfalfa is at 14 inches. By next week there should be adequate GDU accumulation for significant alfalfa weevil feeding in the most southern counties in the region, and field scouting should begin in earnest. Adequate GDU accumulation for egg hatch should be reached sometime next week in the counties along I-70 in the northern part of the region.
April 22 is Earth Day. Let's not forget that, as crop producers, we should be the first and foremost stewards of the environment. Our livelihoods depend on it.
Not much to report since last week, other than more rain. A few hardy souls got some corn planted the early part of last week, primarily on some of the better-drained ground in the bottoms along the Mississippi River near Hull (Pike and Adams counties), and in a few additional areas. Some anhydrous and dry fertilizer applications also took place on some of the drier soils. But the majority of producers are still (patiently) waiting for better weather. We've had a few reports of germinated sweet corn that was planted mid-March.
Alfalfa has been slow to grow, as have grass pastures.
The wheat crop is a mixed bag. Fields that were planted at or very near the fly-free date are tillered well. The late-sown wheat has yet to tiller.
Terry Behymer, Brown County, reported an intense capture of black cutworm moths on April 7-8.