Issue No. 10, Article 7/June 2, 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.
The warmer temperatures last week improved the overall appearance of the corn crop throughout the region. As of midweek, the earlier-planted corn was at V4 to V5 stage. Many soybean fields emerged over the weekend, and populations appear very good. Soybean planting is over 95% complete in the region. Present field activities are focusing on sidedressing anhydrous ammonia and postemergence herbicide application on corn.
Widely scattered thunderstorms a week ago left some areas of the region extremely wet, while completely bypassing other areas. Planting has been erratic, with some areas almost completely finished, while others have considerable soybeans still needing to get into the ground. In the areas that did not receive rain, topsoil moisture is being rapidly depleted.
Corn size ranges from V1 through V6. Many fields are beginning to take on an uneven appearance. Some corn has been replanted due to uneven stands.
In most cases, soybeans are still emerging. Many fields that received heavy rainfall have been rotary hoed at least once, and in some cases twice. The soybean rust sentinel plot near St. Jacob, planted on April 21, is now at V3, and scouting will begin this week.
The extremely hot temperatures during the past week have not been beneficial to wheat, and many fields are beginning to turn yellow as they are forced into early maturity. Head scab has become more obvious, and glume blotch can also be found in many fields.
Alfalfa fields that were harvested in early May are approaching the time for second cutting. Producers should be monitoring fields the rest of the summer for potato leafhopper damage.
Very spotty rains were encountered in west-central Illinois over the last week, with much of the area receiving no precipitation and a few areas receiving up to a few inches or even a little hail. Corn in much of the region has passed or is at least nearing V6 (the six-leaf stage). Where rain has been lacking, some corn, especially on sandy loam soils, is already rolling during the heat of day. Black cutworm problems seem to be drawing to a close in much of the region, and while occasional wireworm injury can be found, heat seems to have encouraged that pest to migrate deeper into the soil profile.
Soybean progress in west-central Illinois as a whole stands at about 75% to 85%, with stand problems (likely the result of Pythium) now evident in fields. Some emerged fields now display the third trifoliate. Some soybeans are lying in dry soil, desperately waiting for moisture to germinate in the more arid portions of this region. Impressive bean leaf beetle injury has been reported in the northern part of this area.
Wheat, despite some rains that got too close to flowering for comfort, seems to still look very good, with little to no evidence of scab at this point. Some rust is evident in that crop, but once again the impact seems to be minor as of this moment.
The first cutting of hay is finally complete in the region, with regrowth looking good up to this point. Pasture growth has stalled or just about ceased altogether.