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Issue No. 6, Article 15/May 5, 2006

Regional Reports

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.

Northern Illinois

Rainfall accumulation during the weekend of April 29 and 30 was about 1 inch or more in many areas of the region. Corn planting was the main activity prior to the rainfall, with completion ranging from 60% to 80% in northern Illinois. Soybean planting is less than 10% completed for the region.

Extension educators continue to report black cutworm moth trap captures on a regular basis in Ogle, Whiteside, and Lee counties, but the only intense capture last week was in Winnebago County.

Pastures and alfalfa are reported in good condition. Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reported several wheat fields in Winnebago and DeKalb counties at Feeke's Stage 6 and 7.

Southern Illinois

Widespread rainfall throughout the region early in the week brought welcome relief from extremely dry conditions. Corn planting is essentially finished, and plant growth stages range from VE to nearly V2. So far no major problems have been reported other than erratic emergence in drier portions of some fields. Ron Hines at Dixon Springs Agricultural Center reported that the weekend storms brought an intense capture of black cutworm moths in St. Clair County.

Soybeans that were planted prior to the rain should emerge rapidly. The Madison County soybean rust sentinel plot that was planted on April 21 is now at growth stage VE. As soon as fields have dried out enough, soybean planting should begin in earnest.

Wheat growth stages range from Feeke's 10 to 10.5.1. Barley yellow dwarf virus is becoming obvious on flag leaves in some fields. The problem does not appear to be serious in the majority of fields, but occasionally you can find one that is taking on an overall golden haze. Many varieties have begun flowering and are at risk of Fusarium head scab infection if rains continue as predicted later this week. Some growers have expressed an interest in a fungicide application to reduce potential problems.

Alfalfa that hasn't been cut should be. Alfalfa weevils are still present and causing damage on unharvested fields. Producers should carefully monitor regrowth after cutting to ensure that second cutting is not damaged. Dennis Epplin at Mt. Vernon reported a field that was severely damaged by cowpea aphids that were left untreated, but the recent heavy rainfall seems to have eliminated the infestation.

West-Central Illinois

Better than 90% of the corn has been planted in much of the region, with bean planting progress just barely creeping into the double digits in the west-central region as a whole. Weekend rains put planting progress on hold across this part of the state, although precipitation did appear a little spotty. Wheat has pressed well into Feeke's 10, and alfalfa will be cut once the weather provides a window of opportunity. Some hail fell in the region, raising concerns about the impact of such weather on wheat. Pea aphid pressure has crept into the southern portion of our region along with some occasional pressure reported in the central portion of the region. Alfalfa weevil pressure has increased in some fields. Cutworm observations have occurred as well as an occasional "early instar" armyworm observation.

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