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Issue No. 14, Article 6/July 9, 2010

Regional Reports

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.

East-Central Illinois

Warm and dry conditions persisted all week after the wettest June on record. Most prairie ponds have finally drained, but a few still have standing water. Some of them have dried enough to allow for fieldwork, but several sprayers have become stuck in these areas.

Corn pollen fills the air. Pollination is well underway. Corn has developed so fast that the window for fungicide applications was very short.

Conditions in soybean fields are widely varied by planting date, drainage, and herbicide program. Most fields are between R1 and R3 growth stages. Septoria is showing up on the lowest leaves on many plants.

Northern Illinois

It has been a relatively dry week throughout the region except for some scattered showers on July 6. A great deal of corn has just begun to initiate tassels over the past few days in the northern half of the region, while corn in the southern half is farther along. Growing degree-days, base 50 degrees, from May 1 through July 6 are 46 ahead of average at DeKalb and 116 ahead of average at Freeport.

Wheat harvest reports from the northwest area indicate about 35% completion, the result of high humidity during the past week.

Extension educators have been monitoring insect traps for multiple species the past three weeks. A total of 49 western bean cutworm moths were captured July 5 and 6 in a Lee County trap.

Just a reminder to attend the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center Field Day at Shabbona on Thursday, July 15, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Ninety-minute tours will depart from the farmstead every 20 minutes until 5:00. Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been applied for.

Southern Illinois

Hot weather has returned. While crops in general are not yet showing signs of serious moisture stress, poor root development caused by earlier wet conditions means that rainfall events will need to be timely for the rest of the growing season.

Overall the corn crop continues to look good, as later-planted fields get nearer to pollination. Growers will soon be able to evaluate pollination success on early-planted fields by carefully removing the ear husks and gently shaking the ear. Silks that fall off have pollinated, while those that remain attached have not. Japanese beetles can be found clipping silks in some fields, but as is often observed, pollination in those fields is already pretty well complete, and no yield loss would be expected.

Soybean development ranges from just emerging on double-crop fields to R2, or full bloom, on the earliest-planted full-season fields. Weed management has been pretty erratic, with some late postemergence applications being made to waterhemp and giant ragweed that are two feet tall.

The Brownstown Agronomy Research Center Field Day will be held on Thursday, July 29, at 9:00 a.m. You can find complete details at cropsci.illinois.edu/events/BARC_Field_Day_Flyer-2010.pdf.

West-Central Illinois

Most corn in the area has tasseled or pollinated and looks really good, but even some of this "good" corn is beginning to fire due to lack of nitrogen. The corn in the "not so good" category--of varying heights due to flooding--is still struggling; some leaves are rolling during the heat of the day, and root systems are heavily degraded. Some gray leaf spot is showing up in some hybrids, and a few Japanese beetles are making their way to corn silks.

Soybean vegetative growth stages vary greatly because of the varying planting dates and replants. Most soybeans are at R1 to R3 stages. Earlier-planted soybeans have formed a canopy, but later-planted soybeans may not get there. Most herbicide applications have been made, thanks to the recent dry spell.

Weed death in soybeans has depended on appropriate herbicide dosage according to weed height. The weed hook has been spotted in some soybean fields. There has been some Japanese beetle feeding in areas of soybean fields. More bacterial blight has shown up in soybeans thanks to the cool temperatures last week.

A lot of baling was able to be done over the holiday weekend.

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