Issue No. 8, Article 5/May 28, 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.
Some field activity has resumed. Finishing soybean planting and applying side-dress nitrogen are at the top of the list.
The corn crop ranges from V3 to V6 and looks good to excellent; however, as the rapid growth stage starts, fields with variable conditions are starting to look ragged as stressors such as compaction have held many plants back. Traffic and tillage patterns are very obvious in many fields. Fields without preplant or preemergence weed treatments are starting to become very "green."
Soybean fields are mostly emerged, but development has been slow, though with the increase in temperature progress is speeding up.
Producers were able to get back in the field in most areas of the region early this week, with activities focusing on finishing soybean planting and side-dressing anhydrous ammonia. Scattered thunderstorms on May 25 and 26 have slowed field activity in some areas.
The warmer temperatures this week certainly have improved the overall color and appearance of the corn crop. Soybean planting is wrapping up, with many areas at 85% or more completion. There have been some reports of soybeans having difficulty emerging due to the heavy rains of May 12 and 13. Soil temperatures have increased to the needed level for seeding of warm-season annual grasses such as sudangrass and sorghum/sudangrass.
Extension educators continue to catch black cutworm moths in monitored traps, but no intense captures have been reported over the last three weeks.
Remember that the first 2010 Crops Training Center summer session is next week: Thursday, June 3, from 9:00 am to noon at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center in Shabbona. The session will focus on soil compaction, white mold management, corn nematode survey, and field crop insect monitoring. Preregistration is requested by June 1--contact Greg Clark, Whiteside County Extension Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org, 815-772-4075). Cost is $30 per person (walk-in registration is $40); Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been applied for.
Field conditions are becoming more variable in the region, depending on local rainfall events. The status in most areas remains between just barely able to get back into the field and totally saturated. Corn development ranges from V3 to V6, and fields with poor drainage have numerous areas suffering from extreme yellowing and stunting. Wireworm damage can be found in some fields, with symptoms being individual plants dying due to larva tunneling into the growing points.
Soybeans are beginning to emerge, and stands are amazingly uniform despite saturated soils.
Wheat is at late milk to soft dough stage. Several foliar diseases, including septoria leaf spot, common rust, and stripe rust, are becoming more serious. Fusarium head blight (scab) symptoms are becoming more obvious.