Issue No. 9, Article 7/May 20, 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.
It has been a great week for progress in the fields. Southern Illinois is notorious for wet springs and delayed plantings; however, most farmers are on schedule to finish planting in the optimum time period.
Corn is growing well and improving in condition. A few fields were replanted because of adverse weather. Several fields required replanting because of bird damage. Soybeans are emerging at this time with a great deal of soybean planting in the last week. Wheat looks good at a glance but has started to show symptoms of foliar disease. There is leaf stripe rust present on some varieties.
Little rain and dry soils continue to be a concern for area farmers. Corn, for the most part, looks good, with some fields, however, showing more distinct uneven stands and low stand counts, yet not low enough to justify replanting at this point. Black cutworm was found in one field in Pike County, which required treatment.
Soybean planting is well under way and nearing completion in many areas. However, some fields that were worked early have dried to the point where there is not enough moisture available to sprout seed, so some farmers are still waiting.
There are concerns throughout the region about herbicide performance. In some areas, herbicides are sitting on very dry soil, while in others, fields sprayed early are not seeing good control, most likely because of cold weather slowing weed growth.
The first cutting of alfalfa is progressing nicely with the dry weather; however, alfalfa weevils are still heavy in some fields.
Most wheat fields are flowering or have just finished flowering. Kelli Bassett, natural resource educator in Montgomery County, reported seeing cereal leaf beetle larvae feeding on the flag leaves of wheat, though not to economic levels.