Issue No. 24, Article 9/November 11, 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.
Corn harvest is nearly complete, over 98% harvested, for northern Illinois. There have been a few reports of aflatoxin contamination from area producers. Corn yields have been very variable; quite often a wide range exists in a single countyfor example, from 200 bu/acre to less than 50. Average county yields are difficult to predict due to this variability. Generally, soybean yields throughout the region have been better than expected, with numerous reports of over 50 bushels per acre.
Due to the mild fall, the wheat crop certainly looks good going into the winter. Also, the mild fall has brought some heavy flushes of winter annuals in harvested soybean fields.
Only an occasional double-crop soybean or corn field remains to be harvested. Overall, at least 97% is complete. Nearly all yields turned out to be better than expected.
Wheat acreage is up substantially from 2004, and most wheat looks good to excellent. Timely seeded wheat is at the three-leaf stage or beyond and quite uniform in appearance. Wheat growers should scout for aphids and monitor weed populations.
Topsoil moisture is good, but overall the area remains dry. Some fall tillage has occurred.
Most all corn and soybean have been harvested and wheat seeded. An increase in wheat acres has been noted in some areas, especially those with lower organic matter soils with lower productivity. Some of the later-planted wheat hasn't emerged yet, but early-seeded wheat looks good.
Anhydrous ammonia application started the last full week in October, with some producers being finished while others have yet to start. Application rates have moderated some from past years.
Most locations report dry soil conditions, and fall tillage is taking place. The anticipated reduction of dry fertilizer due to price increases hasn't materialized. Although fertilizer dealers report some reduction, it is not to the degree expected.
Some producers are reducing their corn-on-corn acreage somewhat, while others will keep their acreages intact.
Some producers have noted the presence of aflatoxin at various levels in corn stored on the farm. Producers should take inventory of their stored grain and check for molds, etc.