Issue No. 7, Article 12/May 6, 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 is over 85% complete for the region. The earliest-planted corn began emerging late last week. Dry soil conditions and cold temperatures have been constant during the last few weeks. Widespread frost, with temperatures of 24° to 27°, was reported throughout the northwest area of the region on the morning of May 3. Frost also occurred on May 4. Dry soil conditions have persisted, with only 0.1 inch of precipitation, if any, received during the last week of April. Rain and warmer temperatures would be welcome in the region.
Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports wheat at Feeke's stage 5 to 6 and alfalfa at 16 to 18 inches high in the Rockford area. Extension educators monitoring black cutworm traps have not reported any "intense" moth captures, and many traps have yet to record a single moth capture for the spring. Activities for the past week have focused on corn and soybean planting, preemergence herbicide application, and seed-bed preparation.
It has been cold and wet this week, but most farmers are now back at work in the fields. We have accumulated only 30 growing degree-days in the last week, which has resulted in slow emergence and very pale yellow corn foliage.
Wheat is in growth stages 10 to 10.1 in most fields. Very little disease is detected. Alfalfa is in the bud stage. Tall fescue and orchardgrass are in the boot to early heading stages.
There have been some reports of black cutworm damage. Bird damage to emerging corn has been confirmed at several locations. Keep scouting those fields.
We've had four or five frost events over the past 10 days in some parts of the region. Some areas were harder hit than others. Woodford County reported a low of 25° Monday night. Fields vary in damage from leaf-tip burn to fields frosted off close to the soil line. Some soybean fields that have emerged will (probably) have to be replanted because of frost injury.
Some alfalfa fields have been treated for alfalfa weevil larvae. Threshold levels may or may not have been reached, but the fields were sprayed anyway. Alfalfa weevil numbers are high in many fields.
There have been some black cutworm sightings, but none are yet approaching threshold. One field in Pike County was treated for southern corn leaf beetle injury. Almost all of the wheat fields are close to flag leaf emergence or have flag leaves emerged.