Issue No. 18, Article 9/July 22, 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.
No major changes to report this week. Corn has responded to moisture and has very good color. Soybeans continue to put on height. Although a full recovery is not possible, crop prospects are much improved at this point.
Rain has alleviated some pest problems. Japanese beetle feeding continues to be a concern.
Upcoming field days: Browns-town, July 28; Dixon Springs, August 4.
Rain continues to be the major point of concern in this region of Illinois, and "variable" best describes what rainfall the area has received. Total precipitation in this part of the state has ranged, over the last 2 weeks, from a couple tenths to a couple inches, with the northern part of the region experiencing the most arid conditions. Plant stature has been an amazing indicator of the general stress this crop has been under; hybrids, known for exceptional height, are tasseling just above "head tall" in some areas. As suspected, many hybrids display fewer rows because of the repeated stress on the crop since May, and some fields, pestered by impressive rootworm beetle populations, occasionally display some problems with kernel set.
Beans have been much shorter as well and have not canopied, in some areas, where the field was planted to 30-inch rows. Those areas recently blessed with several tenths to a couple inches of rain have shown improvement in the general appearance of the crop, both in size and row closure. Soybean aphid reports, few of economic significance, have started to filter into area Extension offices, and spider mites continue to plague a few more fields every couple days. Diseases appear largely restricted to "rust look-alikes," such as Septoria, mildew, and eyespot in beans.