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Issue No. 20, Article 1/August 26, 2011

Report from the Research Farms--Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center

Located in DeKalb County, the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center is the the Department of Crop Sciences' northernmost research station that conducts corn and soybean research. We have been more fortunate than many areas in the state this season in terms of precipitation. This week we received just less than 2 inches of rain collectively from storms on August 20 and August 23. Crops are responding to the moisture, with virtually our entire corn and soybean crops still green, with photosynthesis continuing to support grain fill.

This week we found our first signs of sudden death syndrome on a very limited area of soybean. Even with the arrival of SDS, Septoria brown spot appears to be the predominant disease; at this time the incidence seems to be low in most plots. Soybean aphids, still well below threshold levels, are now easier to find while scouting plots. Most of the soybean crop is at or near R5 (beginning seed).

Sudden death syndrome of soybean, August 2011.

Our corn plots have returned to vertical after windstorms earlier in the season, and despite the extended planting dates most of our crop is currently in the R4 (dough) to early R5 (dent) stages. Different from other areas of Illinois, we are supporting robust populations of both western and northern corn rootworm beetles.

Gooseneck corn, August 2011.

This week we were visited by campus researchers who evaluated late-season post-applied herbicides and others who harvested switchgrass to evaluate as a biofuel. While some evaluations will still take place, for most of our plots the next step will be harvest.

Switchgrass harvested, August 2011.

If you are attending the Farm Progress Show, be sure to come into the University of Illinois tent and visit the Research and Outreach display.--Russ Higgins, Extension Educator

Russ Higgins

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