Issue No. 19, Article 8/July 30, 2004
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.
Wheat is still being harvested in northern Illinois, and there is concern over the crop quality due to mycotoxins in the grain caused by scab infestations. Oat grain harvest began this week.
Numerous reports have been received from industry and extension sources over the past several weeks stating that soybean aphid populations are low or nonexistent in many soybean fields. Rootworm larvae injury reports in first-year cornfields, insecticide treated and untreated at planting, have been received throughout July. It appears the variant species of the western corn rootworm beetle expanded its soybean field egg-laying territory last year.
The annual Field Day at the University of Illinois Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona, will be held Tuesday, August 3. Tours begin at 4:00 p.m., with the last tour leaving at 5:00. Topics to be presented by Extension specialists and educators include current field crop insect update, corn nitrogen rates, factors contributing to high yields, tile line modifications to improve water quality, and crop disease update. The research farm can be reached by going 1 mile east of Shabbona on Route 30 and then 5-1/2 miles north on University Road.
Corn continues to look very good. Some of the early-planted fields are beginning to dent; others are in the soft-dough stage. Pests are almost nonexistent: no European corn borer or corn earworm. While the darker, higher organic matter soils still have some moisture available, the lower organic matter soils are beginning to run short. Another rainfall will be essential for the lower organic matter soils to achieve the yields they're capable of producing. It's a rarity to find an ear with only 14 rows; nearly all are 16 or 18. Stands are excellent, and ears are mostly filled to the tip.
Sudden death syndrome (SDS) continues to appear in early-planted soybean fields and can be found in many counties in western and central Illinois, although the number of fields infested is not high. Some of these early fields are at R5 stage in maturity. Soybean aphid can be found in very low numbers in some fields.
Potato leafhoppers continue to make their presence known in alfalfa fields.