Issue No. 5, Article 9/April 22, 2005
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.
Corn planting and seed-bed preparation have been the primary field activities during the past week. Other activities have included anhydrous ammonia and preplant/preemergence herbicide applications. The majority of the region received 0.5 to 0.8 inch of precipitation on Tuesday, April 12, which halted field activities only for a few days. Additional rainfall would be welcome in many areas. Estimates of how much corn planting has been completed range from 40% and more in the southern portion of the region to 20% to near 30% in the northern areas. Lyle Paul, agronomist at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona, reports that corn planted on March 30 at the Research Center could easily be "rowed" on April 19.
A few black cutworm moths have been caught in traps monitored by Extension educators, but several traps have not caught any moths this spring, and no intense moth catches have been reported to date.
Southeastern Illinois has been a little wetter than the rest of the state; however, corn planting progress continues to be good. Favorable weather for tillage may reduce the amount of no-till corn in 2005.
Wheat condition has improved, and some fields actually look good. Wheat is at growth stage 8, with some advanced fields approaching flag leaf. Forages have grown dramatically in the past week.
Alfalfa weevil has been mentioned in the previous two reports. There are no other significant insect problems or diseases to report on at this time. Cressleaf groundsel is nearing full bloom, with bright yellow flowers.
Soils dried quickly after last week's rain and producers were in the field this weekend, mostly finishing corn planting. The earliest-planted corn is emerged, with excellent stands reported throughout the region. Herbicide applications continue, though windy conditions have slowed it somewhat. Begin scouting for soil insects as corn emerges.
Mike Roegge, crops educator in the Adam/Brown Unit, had some black cutworm moths fly through the area 10 days ago, but very few since.
Soybean planting has begun to a limited extent throughout the west-central region.
In general, wheat looks good, with some of it at Feekes stage 7, with the second node visible. Alfalfa is growing rapidly, with plant height in some areas approaching 16 to 20 inches. Check the PEAQ Web site for crop development and recommendations for first harvest in the region. Alfalfa weevil larvae are being reported in many fields. Larvae are still small enough that little damage has occurred thus far.
Weather has remained very good for field work. Rains have been relatively light and spotty. However, windy conditions have been bad for spraying on several days.
Many farmers have finished corn planting, and earlier planted fields are emerging. Many fields can now be "rowed" as you drive by. Initial stands look excellent.
Some limited soybean planting has occurred, but most farmers are still waiting to start beans.
Alfalfa in the Champaign area is around 20 inches tall and growing rapidly.