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Issue No. 9, Article 11/May 22, 2009

Regional Reports

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. We hope these reports will provide additional benefits for staying current as the season progresses.

Northern Illinois

Widespread precipitation halted field work on Wednesday, May 13, limiting most of the region to only two days of field work the week of May 10. Limited field activity was observed over the weekend, with activity increasing on Tuesday, May 19. Planting progress is extremely variable throughout the region. The eastern portion of the region has been wetter, resulting in less progress. Estimates range from 60% corn planted in Ogle County to 25% planted in DeKalb County. Areas northwest of Ogle may be farther along in planting.

Population stands of emerged corn appear uniform, but the plant color is yellowish-green. Warmer temperatures and sunshine should alleviate that problem. Bill Lindenmier, Ogle County crop systems educator, reported a light frost on May 17 and 18, but there have been no reports of frost damage on emerged corn.

Wheat and alfalfa appear good and have been growing rapidly.

Just a reminder that the first of the 2009 Crops Training Center summer sessions will be held Wednesday, June 3, from 9:00 am to noon at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center in Shabbona. The session will focus on corn nematode management. Presenters include Dr. Terry Niblack, University of Illinois Extension specialist, and area extension educators. Pre-registration is requested by June 1 and can be made by contacting Greg Clark, Whiteside County Extension Unit (gmclark@illinois.edu, 815-772-4075). Cost is $30 per person (walk-in registration is $40), and Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been applied for.

Southern Illinois

Finally some sunshine! Field conditions are gradually improving, and by Tuesday there was some activity in the better-drained fields. If weather predictions hold, there should be some planting progress made at least through the early weekend.

Corn planted in late April to early May is at V-3. Corn planted just prior to the last round of storms is struggling to get out of the ground, and poorly drained areas will probably not make it.

Wheat pollination is pretty well completed in fields planted on time last fall, and late-planted fields should be completing pollination by early next week. Fusarium head scab can be observed in the earliest flowering fields.

Alfalfa that has not yet been harvested is now well into bloom stage.

West-Central Illinois

"Rain, rain," seems to be the theme in the west-central region, with corn planting extremely variable. Some farmers are done, while others have yet to start. The western and southern parts of the region are likely 40% to 55% done with corn, but the eastern side is only 5% done. Some corn has emerged; other fields will need to be rotary-hoed to break up the crust that formed from pounding rains on the weekend. Soil erosion is very evident in most fields.

A few soybeans have been planted around the region, but planting is very limited.

Wheat varies from Feekes 8 (flag leaf visible) to full head, and fungicides are being sprayed due to the frequent rains.

Alfalfa is anywhere from late vegetative stage to bud, and some fields likely need to be cut to maintain quality.

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