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Issue No. 22, Article 7/September 2, 2004

Regional Reports

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.

Northern Illinois

According to the Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service, accumulated growing degree-days from May 1 to August 22 in the northern region ranged from 130 to 300 less than the long-term average. This weather data may suggest at some locations that later-planted fields would be at risk to an early frost. Accumulated degree-days vary from location to location within the northern region. To select the current Illinois Weather & Crops Report visit their website.

Precipitation was fairly widespread throughout the region late last week, with reported amounts from 1.5 to nearly 5.0 inches. The majority of the northern region received 2.0 inches or more.

Since the last issue of the Bulletin 2 weeks ago, there have been a few more sclerotinia stem rot (white mold) reports, with a higher frequency of sclerotinia observed in the northwest portion of the region. Also, sudden death syndrome (SDS), brown stem rot, and phytophthora root rot have been observed in several areas of the region, but at a low frequency to date.

West-Central Illinois

Much-needed rainfall over the area the past week provided relief from near-drought conditions for some areas. Rainfall totals from 1.5 to 15 inches were recorded, with amounts of 7 to 10-plus inches not uncommon in the west-central area of the region.

The majority of corn is at or will be close to black layer by the end of next week. Corn on soils low in organic matter in rainfall-deficient areas began showing stress in mid-August, firing up to the ear zone. Although a few combines will be rolling after Labor Day, many producers are content to let cornfields dry as long as possible, as propane gas prices have risen, but they are closely monitoring stalk quality.

Soybean maturities range from R5 to a few fields of mature (R8) soybean. Those beans still at pod fill will benefit from the rains through improved bean size and retention of some of the new pods at the top of the plants. Some small areas of poorly drained fields where water accumulates will likely see some premature bean death because of the high rainfall amounts. Sudden death syndrome is not uncommon in some areas. Variety differences can be readily observed.

Pastures have performed well during the summer, with reduced heat stress improving grass growth. Rainfall and cooler weather will likely result in immediate response by cool-season grasses and legumes.

Producers are close to harvesting the fourth alfalfa cutting. Leafhopper numbers seem to have subsided.

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