Issue No. 8, Article 10/May 19, 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 area received regular precipitation from late last week through early this week, halting most fieldwork. Several reports from across the region indicate that emerged cornfields have good population stands.
Russ Higgins, IPM Extension educator, reports observing potato leafhopper infestations in alfalfa but that plants have not expressed visible injury. The cool, damp weather in conjunction with the current wheat growth stage has increased the potential of wheat diseases such as scab.
All fieldwork has been at a standstill for the past week due to almost daily rain showers. In addition, crop development has slowed because of below-normal temperatures. Only around 45 to 60 growing degree units, base 50deg;F, have accumulated during the past seven days. The earliest-planted corn continues to look good, while later-planted corn has started to lose some color. Reports continue of white grubs being found in impressive numbers in some fields.
Very little soybean acreage has been planted, and those fields that were planted in early May are just now starting to emerge. It is still too early to tell what percentage of the fields will need to be replanted.
Wheat is now past flowering and into seed fill. Head scab can be found in some fields but seems to still be at low levels at this point. Some leaf rust is also starting to appear.
Numerous alfalfa fields still have yet to be cut for the first time. This growth is now almost three weeks past optimum maturity, leaf and stem diseases are prevalent, and quality has deteriorated. These fields need to be harvested as close to the ground as possible to reduce the potential for leaf spot diseases to infect regrowth after cutting.
Much of the area has reported that corn planting is complete and most fields have emerged. Fields range from V2 to V5, depending on specific planting dates. A few producers report having treated for black cutworm injury during the past week. Most fields would stand to benefit from improved weather conditions with sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Showers and cool weather have slowed soybean planting in much of the area. Planting progress ranges from a third to nearly half complete. Those that have been receiving rain are now concerned about developing issues with pythium due to less-than-ideal soil conditions for soybeans.
Wheat in much of the area is now flowering. Concerns about head scab are increasing as the weather continues to be cool and wet in those areas with more wheat acreage.
Alfalfa harvest started early last week as many producers tried to avoid any further damage from alfalfa weevil.