Issue No. 7, Article 8/May 21, 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.
A wet weekend ended hopes for finishing soybean planning this week. Though it has felt cool in our region, April and the first half of May have been a few degrees warmer than average according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. Rainfall has been very close to average.
The corn crop ranges from V2 to V5 and looks good to excellent. Soybean fields are finally emerging but development has been very slow, causing some concern about seedling diseases.
Most of the region received 2 inches or more of precipitation on May 12 and 13 in addition to the 1.5 to 2 inches that fell from May 7 through 11. Some heavy rainfall runoff and field ponding have taken out some corn seedlings, but potential replanting will be minimal. Obviously fieldwork has been limited during the past 10 days, but producers have been getting back in the field in some areas, sidedressing anhydrous ammonia and hoeing corn fields.
Corn planting is complete for all practical purposes; soybean planting is about 70% or more complete, with more yet to be accomplished in the eastern portion of the region. Corn has had a pale yellowish color for two-plus weeks, but there has been some improvement over the past several days.
Winter wheat is at or near heading stage. Alfalfa hay is being harvested.
Once again locally heavy storms have dropped variable amounts of rain across much of the region. Saturated soils coupled with cool temperatures have slowed corn development and left much of it with color that is less than ideal. Some replanting will be necessary, especially in bottomland fields subject to flooding.
While the May 17 weekly crop report states that 42% of the soybean crop is planted statewide, the south is lagging behind, with only 16% reported planted in the southwest district and 19% in the southeast district. Many fields appear to have been tilled but not yet planted. Very few fields are actually emerged, and some are likely to need replanting.
Wheat pollination is reaching completion. If Fusarium head blight is going to become a problem, symptoms will begin to express themselves over the next two weeks.
Rain, rain, rain. That is the west central report. Well, okay--corn seems to be doing fairly well considering all it has been through. Almost all corn is planted in the region, except for a few wetter fields and others needing to be replanted after pounding rains. The crop is anywhere from emerged to approaching five leaves. Most fields have lost their green color due to all of the wet, cool weather. Frost has hit various places, but most will recover with minor stand/yield loss. With a forecast for much warmer and drier weather, many fields will improve this weekend.
Soybean planting is another story. Some areas have not started, and others are almost done. An educated guess would put the average in the west-central region at around 50%, but that is a big guess with all of the variability. A few early-planted fields are close to V1-V2, but most are just emerging or will emerge in the next few days.
There are very few reports of insect problems, but scouting will be critical for the next few weeks.
Wheat is mostly headed across the region. Alfalfa is rapidly passing the optimal time for a high RFV and needs to be cut.