Issue No. 24, Article 9/November 6, 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.
There wasn't much harvesting in the last two weeks in October because of frequent precipitation. Corn harvest progress varies from nearly 20% complete in parts of the northwest region to about 5% in the northeast. Moisture continues to be very high, with most harvested corn reported at nearly 30% or higher. Also, low test weights and concerns over molds and mycotoxins persist throughout the region. Yields have generally been better than expected. Casual observations in October indicated that many corn fields were not at black layer when a killing frost occurred on October 9 and 10. Commercial and on-farm drying capacities are also contributing to the slow harvest. There is expected to be corn standing throughout the winter, but November's weather will influence how many acres actually remain unharvested.
Soybean harvest has been slow to start up this week. Completion ranges from 40% to 70%, with lower percentages in the northeast.
Extension educators conducting the annual fall corn borer survey found extremely low numbers of infested fields. In some counties no infested plants were found in inspections of 10 randomly selected fields.
Some winter wheat has been seeded, but substantially fewer acres than last fall.
After record rainfall in October, the weather has finally cleared and harvest progress has resumed. Yields of both corn and soybean are excellent, considering the late planting dates. The bottleneck on corn harvest remains the high moisture levels of the crop coming in out of the field, with grain dryers unable to keep pace with harvesting speed.
Wheat acreage planted to date is down considerably from last year. While it's not impossible to plant wheat this late, the prospects for good yields are greatly diminished.