Issue No. 3, Article 11/April 14, 2006
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.
Most of the region received about 1 to 1.3 inches of precipitation during the week ending April 9. However, field activity has been constant since early in the week, including anhydrous ammonia application, broadcast fertilizer application, applying soil-applied herbicides, and tillage operations. Also, some oat and alfalfa seeding has occurred.
Extension educators will be monitoring black cutworm moth traps throughout the region, and moth captures will be reported in future issues of the Bulletin.
Wet weather in late March and early April has kept most growers out of the field to any major extent. More progress has been made on sandier soils in the river bottoms in the southeast and southwest, but many of the poorly drained clay pan soils are still too wet. Some nitrogen has been applied to fields going into corn this spring, but the majority has yet to go on. As of April 11, drier fields in the extreme south have been planted, but fieldwork is just beginning on the better-drained soils in the northern part of the region.
Most fields have heavy infestations of winter annual weeds and will be attractive egg-laying sites for black cutworm moths. Ron Hines at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center reported an intense capture of cutworm moths in Pulaski County the week of April 4, but activity during the past week has been low. This situation may rapidly change as heavy winds blow out of the south this week.
Wheat is at Feeke's stage 6 in the northern part of the region and at Feeke's stage 7 in the south. Most fields appear to be in excellent condition, although Septoria leaf blotch is prevalent in many fields. Winter annual weed infestations are also high, indicting that spring herbicide applications have not yet been made.
Alfalfa growth is around 6 to 10 inches. Alfalfa weevils have hatched throughout the region, and growers should begin scouting fields for this pest now.
Recent warm weather has started to get the wheat really growing. Most is in the late tillering stage and looking very good. Corn planting has started in the river bottoms on the western side of the state and should be in full swing starting April 15. Most farmers have been reluctant to start planting until the last few days, as temperatures were still very cool and frequent rains prevented many from getting started. Main activities this week seem to be applying spring anhydrous, dry fertilizer, and chemicals.
The first black cutworms have been caught in a few traps this past week.