Issue No. 20, Article 3/August 7, 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.
Moderate temperatures have persisted throughout the region but are expected to increase by the end of the week. Extension educators continue to monitor western bean cutworm moth traps and are catching moths daily. Growers are encouraged to scout fields for potential infestations. Japanese beetles have been observed clipping silks primarily at field edges; there have been no reports of insecticide treatment. To date, soybean aphid and western corn rootworm beetle populations have been low.
The time for late summer seeding of perennial forages for the northern quarter of Illinois is August 10-15. Wheat harvest has finally been completed. Baling of wheat straw and alfalfa is occurring.
As temperatures finally reach into the 90s, areas that missed receiving rain during the past week will begin to show moisture stress. A fair portion of this problem can be attributed to highly compacted soil and poor root systems. While most corn has completed pollination, the very latest plantings won't reach pollination before mid-month. Soybean development has been slowed by the below-normal temperatures. Untreated alfalfa fields are showing obvious damage from potato leafhopper.
The rains of this week varied in amount and intensity; some areas received almost nothing, while others got several inches or more. Winds caused damage in a few locations as well.
Corn ranges from pre-VT to dent, depending on planting date. There are still a few planes flying, but they're getting scarce. There is very little in the way of insect problems related to pollination.
We've had several instances where blackbirds have wreaked havoc on a field of corn. Upward of 15% of the ears are affected in some cases. Common factors are isolated, earlier-planted fields located in somewhat close proximity to a town or other area with abundant trees. Corn fields at the milk stage seem to be most susceptible. Once other fields in the area reach milk stage, the problem diminishes. Insects are not present in the ears.
A few late-planted corn fields are experiencing populations of fall armyworm.
Soybeans range from V7-V8 to R4. Again, a few planes can be found applying fungicide/insecticide. With the exception of the very-late-planted fields, most fields have closed canopy. Very little in the way of diseases can be found currently.