Issue No. 21, Article 11/August 12, 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.
Scattered thunderstorms went through the area Tuesday evening, August 9, but it has remained mostly dry throughout the region. The corn crop continues to decline, and yields will be variable. Insecticide treatments for spider mite infestations have continued, particularly during the first week in August. Septoria brown spot has appeared in many soybean fields. Also, a few reports of sudden death syndrome in soybeans have been received.
A few scattered rain showers have helped some locations but overlooked others. Corn is starting to show signs of maturity. Corn silage chopping has begun. Double-cropped soybeans are R1 and still trying to grow above the wheat stubble.
The Illinois Wheat Forum is scheduled for Monday, August 15, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Highland. Exhibits open at 8:30 a.m., and the program begins at 9:30 a.m.
Conditions across the region continue to be hot and dry. Areas that have received rain throughout the season are faring better than those that have remained dry.
The corn crop ranges from late dough stage to full dent in many areas. Scattered fields are nearing black layer, with the milk line progressing down the kernel. Some ears are already hanging down. Many producers that are considering feeding a portion of their crop to livestock are testing for high nitrate levels. Silage chopping is also occurring, with producers commenting on the increased acreage needed to fill silage wagons. With the continued hot weather, concerns for aflatoxins are surfacing.
Reports on soybeans vary across the region. Spraying for spider mites and aphids continues in areas, with some producers having sprayed twice for spider mites. Those fields that have had moisture are supporting two and three bean pods, while those that have been dry lack pods on the lower half of the stem. Many fields are at R4-R5.5, and producers are hoping for rain to salvage the soybean crop and fill pods.
Hay and pasture are almost nonexistent. Many producers are feeding hay and will be replacing that with corn silage when available. Some alfalfa is being treated for insect damage by leafhoppers or aphids.