Issue No. 19, Article 7/July 31, 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.
Numerous corn fields are in full tassel throughout the region. Moderate temperatures and frequent rainfall persist, which has been beneficial for pollination. However, with later-planted fields there is some concern about whether they will accumulate enough heat units prior to frost. Several reports have been received of low foliar disease pressure in corn, which is surprising due to the frequent rainfall during the growing season. Jim Morrison, crop systems extension educator, reported considerable hail damage to crops and buildings in the northwest corner of the state as the result of a storm on the evening of July 24.
Extension educators continue to catch western bean cutworm (WBC) moths daily in the western portion of the region. Extension staff have monitored WBC moth traps annually for the last four or five years. The highest daily consistent moth catches since initiation of the trapping program have been recorded in the past 10 days. No observations of economic levels of soybean aphids or Japanese beetles have been reported in soybeans. To date, soybean aphid populations have been lower than expected.
Some wheat is still being harvested, as high humidity has hindered harvest completion.
Relatively dry and somewhat warmer weather is allowing soils to dry and crop progress to accelerate. In fields of both corn and soybean it is easy to find compromised root systems contributing to the uneven growth patterns. There have been reports of some corn showing significant pressure from gray leaf spot. Wheat producers are expressing concern about the potential for poor seed quality this fall due to the amount of Fusarium head scab in this year's crop. Planting "bin run" seed that has not been thoroughly cleaned, treated, and germination-tested will be risky.
While a lot of variation still persists in corn fields, most corn is in the pollination stage.
Nitrogen deficiency symptoms are beginning to appear in some corn.
Gray leaf spot is exceptionally variable as well, but some fields display lesions above the ear leaf. However, corn prices have tapered producer excitement over calling in aerial applicators even in those fields.
While Japanese beetles can still be found, the peak for the pest appears to have passed.
Downy mildew, septoria, and even bacterial blight can be found in beans, and most of that crop is in the R1 to R2 stage. Soybean aphids can be found in the area.