Issue No. 24, Article 9/November 5, 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.
Harvest is complete in the region for all practical purposes, with only a few scattered fields remaining. Overall, corn yields were good to excellent, though numerous reports have been received of continuous corn yielding 20 or more bushels less than comparable first-year corn fields. Soybean yields were excellent for the most part.
Several days of sustained high winds last week resulted in broken, lodged corn stalks in some unharvested fields. Most of the region experienced the first killing frost late last week, which is several weeks later than normal.
Fall harvest weather has been excellent, with a large portion of the region being mostly rainfree for over a month until October 23-24. The weather has allowed fall tillage to be nearly completed and some field compaction issues to be addressed. The dry conditions have contributed to slow wheat emergence, which may contribute to poor winter survivability.
Anhydrous ammonia application started late last week as producers were waiting for soil temperatures to decline. This week's activities have focused on finishing fall tillage and applying dry fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia.
Corn and soybean harvest are mostly complete except for a few scattered fields. Corn yields throughout the region were quite variable, ranging from excellent to awful. Sometimes both extremes were found in the same field. Soybean yields for the most part were higher than in the previous two years. Crop yields in the more southern areas of the region were negatively impacted by drought-like conditions starting back in August.
One advantage to this year's early corn harvest is that grain scattered from the combines has had an opportunity to sprout and be killed by frost this fall, rather than becoming a weed in next spring's planting.
Wheat planting was accomplished in a timely manner, and it will be interesting to see the acreage estimates for this crop. For the most part, stands look good, although some fields that remained extremely dry after seeding have thin areas.