Issue No. 4, Article 11/April 29, 2010
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.
Corn is better than 80% planted in the east-central area; many farmers are finished with corn, but others have just gotten a good start. Plant size ranges from just emerged to V1. Rain of 0.5 to 2 inches brought everyone to a halt, but many had been waiting for rain to begin soybean planting, which has barely started. Field activity was corn planting, tilling, and spraying.
Doug Gucker of Piatt County Extension reported an intense capture of 9 black cutworm moths over the weekend (April 24-26).
Widespread precipitation over the weekend halted fieldwork for a few days; amounts ranged from 0.5 to 1.5 inches, with heavier amounts in the western portion of the region. Corn planting is 70% complete or more, and some producers have started planting soybeans. The earliest-planted corn began to emerge over the weekend. Extension educators monitoring black cutworm traps continue to catch moths, with the only reported "intense" capture on April 24-25 in Lee County.
Extension educator Jim Morrison reports wheat at Feekes stage 6, approaching stage 7, and alfalfa height at 15 to 17 inches in the northwest portion of the region. There have been no reports of alfalfa weevil activity.
Rainfall during the past weekend and early into this week brought much-needed relief on a couple of fronts: moisture relief for dry surface soils and some well-earned labor relief for growers and the support industry, who have been running nonstop for more than two weeks. Rainfall amounts across the region varied from 1 to 3 inches, and it will be later in the week before fieldwork resumes.
As of April 25, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reports corn planting completion of 83% in the Southwest reporting district and 67% in the Southeast. The statewide average of 73% is the highest seen by this date in more than 10 years. Fields that are emerging appear to have very uniform stands. Few soybean fields have been planted yet, though numerous fields have been worked in preparation.
Wheat development ranges from Feekes 9 (flag leaves fully emerged) to 10 (boot stage). A few very early fields are just beginning to head. Many fields look better from the road at 60 mph than they do when one is standing in them, when the thin stands and uneven growth become more obvious. Foliar diseases don't appear to be an issue yet.
Alfalfa has reached late bud stage and needs to be harvested as soon as weather conditions permit.
Many producers were wanting some rain, and we received anywhere from 1 to 4 inches and more over the weekend. Those who received the excessive amounts have water sitting on some poorly drained fields, and a few terraces were damaged as well. Corn planting is wrapped up for a few. Most have significant percentages completed. A few soybeans were planted as well. Some producers were waiting patiently to finish corn planting for a variety of reasons: dry soils, NH3 just applied, or waiting for nitrogen supplies. The early-planted corn has emerged and looks good, although the wetter fields and cool temperatures of late have some looking a little off-color.
An intense capture of black cutworm moths was recorded in the Quincy area over the past weekend. Other report steady captures, but none at the intense level.
Wheat fields have been examined to determine stand counts and potential yield. Some will be destroyed and planted to corn.
Alfalfa continues to grow well. Some pastures have not yet responded to the warmer weather as expected.