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Issue No. 14, Article 5/June 25, 2004

Regional Reports

Northern Illinois

According to the recent Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service's newsletter, Illinois Weather and Crops, accumulated precipitation from May 1 to June 20 is 4 inches ormore above average at more than 80% of the weather reporting sites in the northern region. Numerous cornfields reflect that rainfall total, as evidenced by field areas of "yellow corn" and uneven plant height.

Numerous reports of scab infestations in wheat have been received during the past few weeks.

Field activities last week focused primarily on postemergence soybean herbicide application and some replanting efforts.

Just a reminder that the annual Weed Control Field Day at the U of I Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center in Shabbona will be held Wednesday, July 7, beginning at 5:00 p.m. U of I weed scientists and graduate students will discuss some of the more than 20 weed control research studies being conducted at the center. At the conclusion of the 90-minute tour, a meal will be available on site.

Southern Illinois

Wheat harvest is still progressing as growers worked around periods of showers during the past week. Areas south of I-64 are pretty well finished, while a fair amount in the I-70 area is still in the field. As harvest is delayed, test weights and grain quality have declined steadily.

Corn planted in April is beginning to silk, and pollination will quickly follow. Fields that had serious water damage earlier have regained a normal green color but tend to be uneven in height. Japanese beetle emergence is escalating, but there have been no reports of silk clipping so far. The current sunny and cool conditions coupled with adequate soil moisture are optimal for successful pollination.

Soybean development ranges from just-planted double-cropped through R1 in the earliest-planted fields, and the crop seems to be in good condition with no evidence of disease problems. While many fields have had their postemergence herbicide applications, there are far too many showing weed heights in excess of 12 inches. These need to be sprayed as soon as possible, or yield suppression will occur.

Alfalfa is in excellent condition, and the second cutting has either been taken or will be later this week. Potato leafhopper damage seems to be minimal up to this point, but it needs to be monitored closely as temperatures rise during the remainder of the summer.

West-Central Illinois

Corn is tasseling throughout the area. Many soybean fields, while still "a little wooly," should be cleaned up soon. Wheat is now being cut.

Corn borer pinholes are now evident as leaves unfurl. Adult rootworm beetles should soon be evident in the area, with pupae present in fields for the better part of a week or more, depending on the location. Recent observations continue to indicate that the first-year rootworm biotype continues to develop in the west-central region. Japanese beetles appeared to emerge about a week and a half earlier than normal (many noting their first adult beetle around June 10) and are now filtering into fields.

Diseases are of concern following a long spell of wet weather in much of the region. Bacterial stalk rot has been observed in Mason County. Soybean fields have shown varied levels of disease, with some still observing phytophthora on roots as well as Septoria on fairly young foliage. The intensity of scab varies in area wheat, with some fields now appearing fairly dingy in color. Other fields show only scattered evidence of the blank florets associated with the fungus responsible for scab.

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