Issue No. 11, Article 6/June 17, 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.
Much of the region has had over 3 inches of rain in the last week. The tall corn is hiding some big ponds on the prairie. Almost no additional field work has been done. The corn crop is continuing to develop at breakneck pace. We expect to see some tassels emerging over the next week. The rain and rapid development have caused big problems for a few farmers who are still trying to get nitrogen applied.
Soybeans are looking excellent, with the exception of fields that are still waiting for herbicide applications. Velvetleaf is starting to take off in many fields.
There has not been a great deal of field activity during the past week due to near-daily precipitation in some areas. Most of the northern region received at least 1.5 inches of precipitation, while some areas received over 2.5 inches. Corn has been growing rapidly, and areas of uneven growth and lighter green color noticed earlier have improved. Overall, corn has a dark green color, but some fields are exhibiting weed pressure. Soybeans have been growing well, but some fields are likewise showing heavy weed pressure. Producers are waiting for drier weather for herbicide application.
Many alfalfa fields will be cut for the second time once weather conditions allow. Pastures look very good. Jim Morrison, crops systems extension educator, reported slug, true white grub, and annual white grub damage in a corn field no-tilled into grass/alfalfa.
Just a reminder that a small grains program will be held on Thursday, June 24, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the U of I Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center near Shabbona. The session will focus on small grain variety selection, disease management, and best management practices. The program is co-sponsored by the Illinois Wheat Association (IWA), and pork chop sandwiches will be served at the start. The cost is $5 per person; to assist with the meal count, please preregister by contacting IWA at 309-557-3662. Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been applied for.
Storm fronts continue to leave the soil saturated in large areas of the region. Heavy rain, high winds, and large hail on Tuesday caused considerable damage in some areas of Madison County, and green snap can be observed in some fields. The earliest-planted corn is around three leaf collars away from tasseling. Japanese beetle adults have emerged, and populations will continue to build over the next few weeks.
The continued wet conditions mean there has been little additional progress toward completing soybean planting in the past week. Most soybean development ranges from VC to around V3, though a few fields planted very early are more advanced.
Wheat harvest will begin once rainfall stops and humidity levels drop enough to bring the grain moisture down to harvestable levels. Wet fields and standing water will once again make wheat harvest and double-crop soybean planting a challenge.
The crop condition varies quite a bit from the western side of the region to the east. The farther west you go, the more rain has been received, and the crop conditions get worse. All of the moisture has caused the aquifer in Havana to come above ground. The report is that the water level is higher this year than it was in the 1993 flood. Many fields are under water. Several tornadoes swept through the region, causing lots of damage in certain locations.
Corn in Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria Counties is on average about waist- (V8-V9) to shoulder-high (V10-V11), and the earliest planted fields are over your head (V13-V14). There are many yellow spots in the fields due to compaction or wet areas, but most fields look very good. On the western side of the region, corn ranges from V1 to V9 depending on how many times the field has been replanted--some 3 times!
The story is basically the same for soybean. The eastern side is mostly finished planting, and the average field is V2 to V4. Some drilled and 15-inch-row beans will canopy by the end of this week. On the western side, many fields either need to be replanted or have not been planted at all. With a 10-day forecast for more large rain events, the situation does not look good.
Wheat is turning very quickly. There are lots of diseases due to all of the moisture. Yields and quality will likely be poorer than expected several weeks ago.
Alfalfa harvest has been slow, and most hay is getting rained on, if it has even been cut.