Issue No. 13, Article 8/June 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.
A few fields still need to be planted, and many ponds need to be planted or replanted. The recent rains have been more spotty and allowed some farmers to get into fields briefly. Most corn runs from V6 to V3. Wheat is turning.
Big concerns now are postemergence weeds that are rapidly approaching maximum labeled size. Also, some farmers are trying to sidedress N and can't get into the fields that need it most.
Numerous corn fields throughout the region are exhibiting areas of stunted yellow corn. Contributing factors include wet and compacted soils, seeding blights, herbicide injury, nitrogen deficiency, and overall poor growing conditions. However, the earliestplanted corn does not exhibit these symptoms. Scattered showers ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 inches last weekend slowed field activity for a few days. Primary activities during the week included sidedressing nitrogen, postemergence herbicide application, hay harvest, and some planting. Planting is nearly complete throughout the region, though scattered fields remain unplanted.
Soybean emergence appears uniform so far. Wheat has started to turn, and there have been a few reports of scab.
The calendar is rapidly bringing an end to corn planting, whether the seed is in the ground or not. A significant amount of planting was forced in spite of field conditions, and now VE- to V1-stage corn is trying to keep its head above water in ponded fields. Earlier-planted corn remains variable, with poorly drained areas either drowned out or stunted and yellowed. Fields with better drainage don't look bad, and growth is rapidly accelerating.
Although some soybeans are at V1, large areas remain to be planted. There will be little if any difference again this year between "full-season" and double-crop soybean planting.
Much wheat would be ready to harvest if weather conditions were drier. Even if the grain dries down, fields remain saturated, and there will be some serious rutting during harvest. With the onset of Fusarium head scab, wheat quality deteriorated rapidly in late May and early June. Although the market indicates an advantage to storage and deferred sales, this is a crop that may not store very well and should be monitored closely if stored on-farm.
It is wet! Most corn is planted at this time, with growth stages ranging from just-planted to V7; a few fields remain yet unplanted. The early corn seems to be doubling in size over the past several weeks, but newly planted corn is struggling in the wet soils. In the southern part of the region, growers have replanted some fields up to three times and are facing the decision of whether to give up on corn in these waterlogged fields and make the switch to soybeans. Some reports of Japanese beetles have been received, but these could be False Japanese beetles. Some fields in the western part of the region have weed issues.
Depending on the area and the amount of precipitation received, 70% to 90% of soybeans are planted. Growth stages range from just emerging up to 2nd trifoliate and appear to be doing okay.
The first cutting of alfalfa has been done, but very little has been baled due to rain. There are reports of potato leafhoppers being back in the area.
Wheat is starting to turn and is filling the head. There are concerns over the amount of moisture received at flowering. A few wheat fields were scouted for disease in Montgomery County last week, and all showed signs of scab and glume blotch on heads. Heavy amounts of Septoria/Stagonospora leaf blotch were also found on flag leaves. Rust or powdery mildew did not appear to be a problem.