Issue No. 15, Article 9/July 16, 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.
Most of the region received at least an inch of precipitation on July 11 and 12. The past 10 days' weather conditions have been very favorable for corn pollination. Soybeans are in full bloom, with many at R3 (beginning pod). There is some leaf feeding in soybeans by Japanese beetles, but it is far below economic levels. Aerial fungicide applications on corn have been ongoing for the past 10 days. Overall, the corn and soybean crops appear very good throughout the region except for ponded areas in some fields that occurred earlier.
Wheat and alfalfa harvest was ongoing last week due to the drier conditions. Pasture conditions are very good for mid-July.
The early-planted corn (April through early May) has completed pollination successfully. The early April corn is at milk stage. Later-planted fields have shown rapid growth. There are still quite a few uneven fields in the western portions of the region, with corn anywhere from pollinated to waist-tall (and less) in the same field. Portions of the field that are water-stressed have shown much improvement over the past two weeks, with favorable weather allowing some of the wet holes to dry, although the 2 to 3 inches of rain those areas received last week slowed recovery somewhat. Supplemental nitrogen is still being applied, both by air and on ths ground, but at a much reduced pace compared to 2 to 3 weeks ago.
Nitrogen deficiency is showing in some fields, but at the present time only the lower leaves are showing. A few fields were treated with fungicide, depending on location in the region. Producers who didn't treat cited uneven corn growth and corn prices as the main reasons. There are very few if any pollination concerns due to insect feeding.
Soybean growth varies across the region as well, with some fields at R3 while others are just emerging. Little disease pressure exists thus far.
Wheat harvest is completed, and many are thankful that last fall was so wet that they didn't get any more seeded than they did. The straw will be worth much more than the grain in many fields.
Alfalfa and pasture growth responded well to the excess rains. Some pastures saw damage due to hoof traffic on soft soils. Some pastures and hay fields were mowed off due to overmaturity in the wetter areas of the region.