Issue No. 12, Article 9/June 11, 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. Their 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 as the districts 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.
Fieldwork resumed late last week, with activities focusing on finishing soybean planting, side-dressing anhydrous ammonia, and postemergence herbicide applications.
Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports observing scab in wheat, with infestation levels varying among fields. Jim also reminds alfalfa growers to monitor harvested fields for potato leafhopper populations.
With the consistent warmer, normal temperatures, corn is growing rapidly and exhibiting a more normal color and an overall healthier appearance.
To date, few insect infestations in corn and soybeans have been observed throughout the region.
Corn quality is highly variable across the region. Areas that received excessive rainfall during the past three weeks are showing the effects of saturated soils, with corn becoming stunted and yellow. Fields of continuous corn, fields with poor internal drainage, and fields with poor surface drainage are affected the worst. In some instances, the damage is quite severe and probably irreversible. In less severely damaged areas, a return to drier conditions will restore soil oxygen levels and corn will begin to recover, but nitrogen losses will be considerable. Early-planted corn in the southeast is rapidly approaching tassel emergence.
Soybean planting quickly resumed early this week, with most of the remaining fields getting planted or replanted. Soybean fields still do not have a good, deep green color due to wet soil conditions and delayed nodulation. Again, the return to drier weather should quickly resolve this problem. Many soybean fields are now at the point where postemergence herbicides should be applied in order to optimize weed control and crop yield.
Wheat harvest had just begun in some areas before it was shut down by showers on Wednesday. It's still too early to estimate yields or quality, but if heavy rains occur through the rest of this week, both grain test weight and milling quality will begin to decline. There should be adequate soil moisture for double-crop soybean establishment.