Issue No. 5, Article 8/April 28, 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.
Many farmers are trying to catch up from earlier weather delays. Corn planting has been the major activity in the last week, with significant progress made. The earliest planted fields are emerging. Butterweed is in bloom in fields that have not had any burndown or tillage. Intense black cutworm moth captures in Piatt, Coles, and Shelby counties indicate we should start scouting for cutting around May 15th.
Field activity had increased in most of the region by late last week after the previous week's precipitation. Activities included corn planting, secondary tillage, anhydrous ammonia application, and preplant herbicide application. Corn planting completion estimates throughout the region range from 10% to 50%.
Extension educators continue to report sporadic trap catches of black cutworm moths, but no reports have been received of intense catches during the past week. Several individuals reported a hard frost the morning of April 26.
Corn planting continues throughout the region, and some soybean planting is beginning. The Madison County soybean rust sentinel plot was planted on April 21. In the northern part of the region, producers are beginning to become concerned about soil moisture as storm systems continue to bypass the area. The earliest-planted corn has emerged and is at V1. Stands appear to be uniformly excellent, and there have been no reports of problems with black cutworm or flea beetles yet. Black cutworm moth captures continue to be light so far. With so many acres of corn planted in a short period, it will be interesting to see if blackbird problems become as serious as they were in 2005.
Wheat is at Feeke's stages 9 and 10 in the northern portion of the region and is approaching 10.5 in the extreme south. So far there have been no reports of armyworm activity. Cereal leaf beetle egg masses are present in some fields, and small larvae can be found on some leaves. Leaf rust and stripe rust don't seem to be an issue at this time. Some fields, especially those that had high aphid levels this spring, are exhibiting tip bronzing on the flag leaves, which is probably barley yellow dwarf infection.
Alfalfa is fast approaching bud stage in many fields. Alfalfa weevils continue to be present, but there have been no reports of major spraying. Some fields are heavily infested with cowpea aphids, and plants are becoming covered with sooty mold and are wilting.
Corn planting in the region ranges from 65% to 100% complete. The earliest-planted corn has been emerged for over 2 weeks. Some uneven stands due to uneven soil moisture can be seen. Early-season grass escapes can be found due to lack of precipitation to incorporate herbicides.
Soybean planting has begun in a few areas. In some locations, soil moisture is short enough that germination will not occur due to dry soil conditions.
Wheat is at Feeke's stages 9 and 10. Some powdery mildew can be found, but in very few fields and at low levels.