Issue No. 23, Article 9/October 8, 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.
A great deal of harvest progress has occurred in the past week, as weather conditions have been nearly ideal. The latest Illinois Weather & Crops newsletter from the National Agricultural Statistics Service lists corn harvest completion through October 3 at 51% in the northwest crop reporting district and 56% in the northeast district. Some of the southern counties within the northern region are near 70% complete. Yields have been variable, but numerous reports of totals exceeding 200 bushels per acre have been received. Some of the earlier-season corn hybrid stalks are deteriorating, and some lodging has occurred after recent storms and windy days.
Soybean harvest is nearly 90% complete, with many yields reported in the range of 55 to 65 bushels per acre. Growing conditions for soybeans this season have been excellent throughout the region, which may result in near-record average yields for some northern counties.
It should come as no surprise that this week's USDA crop progress report shows that 2010 has been the earliest and fastest corn harvest in the past 10 years. By October 4, 74% of the state's corn crop had been harvested. Here in the south that number was over 90%, and most harvesting effort is now focused on soybean.
Reports from the field indicate that both corn and soybean yields are good overall, although they are extremely variable in some areas due to wet field conditions early in the season. One common observation has been that flat or poorly drained areas are producing lower yields, while the better yields are coming from better-drained areas that might be considered "droughty" in normal years.
Weather and soil conditions are nearly ideal for wheat seeding, and growers have been working ground and doing a fair amount of planting prior to the "fly-free" dates of October 6-9 and October 9-12 for the northern and southern portions of the region, respectively.