Issue No. 11, Article 11/June 3, 2005
Northern Illinois is finally getting some improved growing weather: sunshine and warmer temperatures. Rainfall is needed in some areas. Wheat has headed, and oat is progressing toward boot stage. Considerable first cutting of hay has occurred. Regrowth should be watched for potential potato leafhopper and alfalfa weevil damage. Field crop insect and disease problems have been limited. Postemergent herbicides are being applied and corn side-dressed with nitrogen. Corn is showing growth and a darker color. Some soybean is yet to emerge because of dry soil and soil crusting in areas. Emerged soybean looks reasonably well considering the lack of moisture.
The priority topic is the dry condition of the topsoil. May precipitation varies across southern Illinois; however, Mount Vernon, for example, received only 34% of the average rainfall for the month. Soybeans have had some difficulty germinating and emerging in the dry soils. Some growers are waiting on rainfall to finish soybean planting.
Even though it has been dry, many established cornfields and soybean fields look good. Growers have been applying side-dress nitrogen and postemergence herbicide applications.
Wheat is at Feeke's stage 11.2 and turning color. Cool temperatures have favored grain fill. Stripe rust has continued to develop and is a significant problem on some varieties. The absence of rainfall has been great for hay harvest. Second-crop alfalfa harvest is under way.