Issue No. 8, Article 8/May 13, 2005
It has been a week of weather extremes, from subfreezing to 90°.
Almost all corn has been planted. As warm temperatures allow the plants to green up, fields are being examined for plants that have been damaged beyond recovery. Some sidedress applications are being made.
The main field activity has been soybean planting. Many farmers are almost finished.
Some reports of weevil damage in alfalfa were received, but first cutting is under way.
Frost/freeze the early morning of May 2 and 3 was the big story for the week in northern Illinois. Temperature of 20°F was reported in Mt. Carroll. The majority of the corn that was damaged is regrowing and appears to have survived. Some replanting of corn has occurred, but the extent is limited. Corn not emerged at the time of the frost/freeze has since emerged in good fashion.
The great majority of soybean that had been planted had not yet emerged at the time of the frost/freeze.
Cold weather damage to wheat appears to be limited.
Damage to established alfalfa varies considerably. Limited replanting of new spring alfalfa seeding had occurred.
Considerable soybeans were planted this week. Limited alfalfa weevil damage has been observed. Rain during the early morning of May 11 was very welcome.
What a difference a week can make. We probably tripled the growing degree-days last week. Most pale yellow corn is now at least pale green. Some cornfields have had emergence problems as expected. Corn planting will wrap up quickly. Farmers range from not started to finished on soybeans.
Wheat will soon be in full flower, so we are watching rainfall and the chance for head scab. Many forage fields are ready for haymaking.
Bird damage to emerging corn continues to be reported.
Corn planting has essentially been finished, with the exception of a few areas of corn to be replanted because of the frosts of May 2 and 3. Most corn survived the frost in good shape; however, there were isolated fields in west-central Illinois that were or are being replanted. These were the early-planted (first week of April), most mature corn in low-lying fields. Injury was most severe in fields with residue.
Soybean planting is finished for a few, while others have just gotten a good start. With the lack of rainfall, some producers have opted to wait for most soil moisture to arrive, because in some fields, there is not enough moisture to germinate seed. Soybean planting may be finished by next week, without a big push.
Corn insects are few and far between. Still, some black cutworms were found, but the numbers are below threshold.
First cutting of alfalfa has begun, with plants still in the vegetative stage. Alfal-fa weevil numbers are still high in some fields not treated, although few fields have required treatment. Wheat is beginning to head.