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Issue No. 9, Article 8/May 26, 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.

East-Central Illinois

Farmers are anxiously trying to finish up soybean planting, as weather delays have pushed it back to later than many would like. Chemical application, tillage, and planting have been the focus of field activity. Most hay fields have received their first cutting.

Northern Illinois

Fields became dry enough in most areas late last week for producers to complete corn planting and address soybean planting. Soybean planting is estimated at 85% complete throughout the region. Other field activities included herbicide application and sidedressing anhydrous ammonia. Emerged corn appearance has improved this week with the warmer temperatures.

Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports observing some alfalfa weevil damage in alfalfa, but below economic threshold. Jim also reports wheat at late boot to heading. Reports from Ogle County indicate some black cutworm larvae damage in corn. Intense black cutworm moth flights in April, documented in Ogle and Whiteside counties, indicated seedling cutting by larvae would begin around May 23. Since moth flights were more common in April 2006 compared to recent years, producers are encouraged to monitor cornfields for potential black cutworm larvae infestations.

Just a reminder that three workshops will be held this growing season at the Crops Training Center located at the U of I Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona. The first session will be Wednesday, June 7, 9 a.m. to noon, focusing on the status of soybean rust and nematode problems in corn and soybeans. The cost is $25, and reservations are due by May 31 to the Whiteside County Extension Unit Office, 100 E. Knox Street, Morrison, IL 61270; phone (815)772-4075. Additional programs will be held on June 30, focusing on summer insect pests, and August 9, discussing soil fertility and weed control management.

Southern Illinois

A return to drier and warmer conditions during the past week has finally allowed fieldwork to resume. Soybean planting is progressing throughout the region, although some fields are still too wet to get into. Other activities include herbicide and sidedress nitrogen applications. The earliest-planted cornfields seem to have added a leaf stage or two during the past week and regained a healthier color.

Wheat continues to progress through soft-dough stage and is benefiting from the cool and drier conditions. Head scab is present to some degree, but severity depends on variety and location.

West-Central Illinois

Corn planting is completed. The cool temperatures and lack of sunshine have caused poor growth of emerged corn, raising some concerns, but relatively few insect problems have been noted. Just a few fields have been treated for black cutworm. Warm temperatures over the past few days have really improved the coloration of the crop. A few have noted herbicide injury symptoms on several fields of corn that were treated just prior to the cool temperatures of two to three weeks ago.

Soybean planting is complete for many; others are wrapping up. Quite a few fields have emerged over the past few days. There are a few plant stand problems. Dry soils and poor germination are causing concern for some. However, no-till soybeans seem to be emerging well.

Wheat looks great. Pollination was completed one to two weeks ago, depending on the variety and plant date. Very few leaf diseases have been noted.

First-crop alfalfa yield was excellent for those who have taken it. Many have yet to cut. Dry soils are not yet posing any real problems, although many are concerned.

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