Issue No. 14, Article 13/June 24, 2005
Generally, as of early last weekend, crop conditions were good to fair, but by early this week, crop stress had become more readily apparent in some areas because of higher temperatures and continued moisture stress.
Several University of Illinois Extension educators have reported observing soybean aphids in Lee, Kendall, Winnebago, Stephenson, and other counties. However, even though soybean aphids are present, there have been no confirmed reports of economic infestations. Several reports have been received of poor performance from postemergence herbicide applications caused by the dry weather.
Just a reminder: the annual Weed Control Field Day at the U of I Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona, will be held Thursday, July 7, beginning at 5 p.m. U of I weed scientists and graduate students will discuss some of the more than 20 weed control research studies being conducted at the center. At the conclusion of the 1-1/2-hour tour, a meal will be available onsite.
Southern Illinois has become the land of the haves and the have-nots. If your area received appreciable rainfall in the past 2 weeks, crops look very good. If not, they look very stressed in the heat of the day. Some locations have received only 25% of normal precipitation since planting.
Wheat harvest is 90% complete. The crop may have looked bad last winter, but yield reports are in the range of 60 to 80-plus bushels per acre. Test weights are 60-plus pounds. Grain quality has been very good to excellent.
Insect activity has increased. Ron Hines reports observing soybean aphids, thrip larva, and twospotted spider mites. Robert Bellm adds garden fleahoppers as an additional soybean pest. Most locations are below economic threshold levels, but dry growing conditions increase the concern.
Rootworm observations continue in the area, with fairly impressive numbers and impressive root injury. Observations are evident in both first-year and continuous cornfields. Excavated soil around corn root tissue displays a lot of rootworm pupae now. Adult western corn rootworms can be found, as can Japanese beetles. Both appear primed to clip silks, with many plants only a few leaves away from tasseling or on the verge of tasseling.
On the soybean side, all is still quiet on the aphid front, but spider mites have appeared. Such infestations are becoming more evident throughout the area.
Another cutting of hay has been made.