Issue No. 18, Article 11/July 24, 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.
Additional corn fields are beginning to tassel, but numerous fields are not exhibiting uniform tasseling. Pollination will be ongoing over the next 3 weeks. Japanese beetle populations are abundant in most areas, with some feeding occurring in soybean fields, but are far below economic infestation levels. Growers are encouraged to scout corn fields for potential silk clipping by Japanese beetles. There have been no reports of soybean aphids.
Wheat harvest is progressing between showers, with reported yields ranging from the 70s to the 90s. Lower wheat test weights have been reported. The wheat variety trials were harvested last week at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center in DeKalb County. Average yields were near 100 bushels per acre; individual variety results will be available soon at vt.cropsci.illinois.edu/wheat.html.
Extension educators have been monitoring western bean cutworm moth traps. The first moth catches occurred July 6 in Whiteside County, July 13 in Winnebago and Stephenson counties, and July 15 in Lee County. Moth catch numbers have steadily increased since last weekend and may peak this week.
Rains continue, but storm fronts have been more scattered. Some areas remain extremely saturated, and uneven crop growth reflects it. Temperatures have averaged significantly below normal, which definitely does not benefit crops planted in late June and early July, which will be struggling to reach physiological maturity before the growing season runs out. Cool conditions and plenty of moisture have meant that corn is pollinating without stress thus far. Some fields, however, will not begin to tassel until early August. "Early"-planted soybeans are only at R2, approaching R3. Some fields have yet to receive a herbicide application, which will negatively impact yields even more.
Most of the area has been receiving rainfall at fairly regular intervals, keeping soils well saturated with moisture. Some of the areas that had been missing rains finally received much needed moisture this past week. Adams, Brown, and Pike counties had not received appreciable rainfall since July 4, and some of the late-planted corn that had been planted in somewhat tough conditions was beginning to show stress, even with the cooler-than-normal temperatures.
Early-planted corn has completed pollination in excellent condition. Corn planted in May is now at pollination. Gray leaf spot can be found in most every field, with infections up to and above the ear leaf in some instances. Fungicide applications have taken place and more are scheduled. Japanese beetle numbers vary across the region.
Soybeans range in maturity from R3 to V5 (not including the few double-crop beans that were planted). In the Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Pike, and Schuyler county areas, yellow sticky traps have been placed for monitoring of the variant rootworm beetle.