Issue No. 12, Article 6/June 25, 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.
The Decatur-Champaign-Danville corridor has received over 8 inches of rain this month, with most of that in the last two weeks. Fields with good drainage are still looking good to excellent. Ponded areas have been flooded for over a week now, and the crops are dead or dying. Wind has caused some lodging as well. Tassels have started to emerge on a few early-planted hybrids. Japanese beetles are active but still relatively low in number. Weeds are really starting to take over in soybean fields that are still waiting for herbicide applications.
The region experienced widespread precipitation on Friday, June 18; most areas got 1 to 2 inches, with heavier amounts in the western part of the region. Some of the same western area received high winds. Lodged and down corn is prevalent in central Lee and Whiteside counties. Widespread precipitation also occurred on Wednesday, June 23.
With the region experiencing rainfall at regular intervals the past month, postemergence herbicide applications have been a challenge. Some corn has become quite weedy, and weedy soybean fields are very common. Commercial applicators and producers at times have targeted dry fields versus the most weedy.
Soybeans have been growing very well the past few weeks and are beginning to bloom. Some growers have been applying lactofen herbicide or fungicide for white mold suppression or control the last few weeks. Growers are reminded that last year's white mold sclerotia, which are the source for future infection, are primarily in fields planted to corn in 2010. Also, the primary infection avenue for white mold is soybean blossoms, so some white mold preventive measures may have been applied too early.
Some corn still exhibits uneven growth, but the majority appears to be doing very well.
Daytime temperatures have stayed well above 90 degrees for the past week, but adequate soil moisture is preventing the crop from showing stress at this time. The only exception is where soils are completely saturated; lack of oxygen in those soils has caused the crop to decline rapidly.
The earliest-planted corn is now at R1 growth stage (silking) and should be monitored for silk clipping by Japanese beetles and/or corn rootworm adults in areas where those pests may be prevalent.
Soybean development is variable depending on planting date. Fields at growth stage V3 and beyond should soon begin flowering now that we are past the longest day of the year. Wet field conditions in some areas have prevented herbicide applications, and untreated fields are showing heavy weed infestations. Tall weeds and hot temperatures will make weed control in these fields a challenge.
Wheat harvest has gotten off to a slow start, but it should progress more rapidly now as hot conditions help to dry out previously wet fields.
Crop conditions are as different as night and day around the region. To the northeast, corn looks great, with a few wet spots growing larger (due to recent rains). Soybean fields are at V4-V5 and have canopied in narrow rows.
To the southwest, wet is the norm. Remember the old Morton salt motto? "When it rains, it pours" pretty well describes the situation. The Quincy area has received 10 to 15 inches of precipitation or more in June, with rain on 14 of the first 23 days. Around 40% of soybeans have yet to be planted the first time, and plenty of soybean and corn fields have been replanted. Early-planted corn on better-drained soils looks good. Corn planted the first week of April is tasseling or close to it. Later-planted corn and corn on less well-drained soils have regressed in the past week due to excessive soil moisture and low or no oxygen in soils.
Airplanes have been applying urea on fields where no nitrogen was applied, and some spraying for cutworm and European corn borer has taken place. Some fertilizer dealers are gearing up for banding UAN applications on corn with high-clearance sprayers. Many fields of soybean have not received postemergence herbicide applications due to the wet soils.
Just a few wheat fields have been cut; the resulting poor test weights were expected. Clover frost-seeded in the wheat looks excellent.
Almost no hay has been cut. Winds and rains have lodged much of the crop. Ergot can be found on orchardgrass and fescue stands.