Issue No. 1, Article 12/March 18, 2004
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.
Extension educators and volunteer cooperators will be monitoring numerous black cutworm moth traps scattered throughout the region this spring. Moth trap reports will be shared on a regular basis in future issues of the Bulletin.
A little rain and snow earlier this week in some areas were a reminder that winter is not quite over. However, where possible, anhydrous ammonia application was picking up at a rapid pace. Some tillage and manure application also have been done.
Wheat fields have begun to green up, with most reports indicating good winter survival. Nitrogen still needs to be applied to some of those fields as soon as soil conditions will allow.
Alfalfa fields are showing signs of greening up also. Forty alfalfa stems per square foot are needed to justify keeping the stand. Plant height measurements will begin in several weeks to determine when the first harvest should be made, according to the PEAQ (Predictive Equation for Alfalfa Quality) method. Check the website http://peaq.outreach.uiuc.edu for more information about this program.
Farmers are completing such tasks as machinery repair and purchasing crop inputs, and are now waiting for soil and weather conditions to improve.
With relatively high crop prices, there seems to be a general feeling of optimism for the new crop year.