Issue No. 12, Article 12/June 12, 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.
Corn planting is complete. Some fields planted the second week of May exhibit some uneven growth and in some instances less-than-ideal populations. Emergence is fairly uniform between earlier-planted and later-planted corn. Numerous fields have yellow plants, usually in the lower areas of the field, due to excessive soil moisture or several ponding events over the last 3 weeks. Herbicide injury in overlap areas is more apparent than in recent years. Soybean planting is over 95% complete in the western portion of the region and approaching 95% in the eastern portion.
Rainfall during the early morning hours of June 8, up to 1.5 inches in some areas, has halted field work for the present time, but many producers finished planting during the previous weekend. Jim Morrison, extension crop systems educator, reported observing some foliar feeding from black cutworm larvae but no cutting in corn. Jim also observed widespread slug damage in a Winnebago corn field.
Considerable alfalfa was cut last week, but some still remains. Drying conditions for baling alfalfa have been very poor during the past week.
Just a reminder that a small grains program will be held Thursday, June 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Illinois Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona. The session will focus on small grain variety selection, disease management, and best management practices. The program, co-sponsored with the Illinois Wheat Association (IWA), will begin with a pork chop sandwich meal. To assist with an accurate meal count, please preregister by contacting IWA at 309-557-3662. The cost is $5; Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been applied for.
Storms throughout the region are becoming more scattered, so field conditions have become more variable. While no area is by any means dry, there are spots where some field work can resume, though other areas remain totally saturated. Severe storms ripped through the northwestern part of the region on Monday, bringing heavy rain, hail, and tornados.
Crop conditions are highly dependent on field drainage. Poorly drained corn fields have become extremely uneven and are showing the effects of poor soil aeration and nitrogen loss. Wheat in poorly drained areas has simply died. A planted soybean field is hard to find.
Progress has been slow but steady in the west-central region over the last week, with rain once again hindering efforts to finish up planting. Corn is about wrapped up, with some progress still needed for beans. Corn maturity ranges from just germinated to 7 leaves. Beans range from germinated to a couple of trifoliates. Producers were able to squeeze in some activity in hay, with some alfalfa now baled. There is evidence of European corn borers and some evidence of leaf disease in the area.