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Issue No. 14, Article 8/June 30, 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

Weather conditions throughout the region have consisted of moderate temperatures and several days of scattered thunderstorms. Corn has responded very well to the rainfall; the earliest-planted corn is still nearly two weeks from pollination.

Several reports have been received concerning heavy rootworm larvae feeding on first-year corn, which unfortunately has been common in northern Illinois the last several years. Other reports have been received concerning "cupped" soybean leaves; some may be due to dicamba drift, while other situations appear not to be caused by herbicide drift.

Several Extension educators have reported problems in soybean fields caused by root diseases, primarily rhizoctonia root rot and other foliar diseases. Educators also report observing soybean aphids in numerous fields, but populations have been low. The recent moderate temperatures may contribute to an increase in soybean aphid populations, and growers are encouraged to monitor the situation.

Second cutting of alfalfa is occurring.

West-Central Illinois

Crop conditions still appear relatively favorable in west-central Illinois, although rainfall is desperately needed in many areas to take the edge off otherwise dry conditions. Many cornfields, likely the majority, will be tasseled by the weekend, with some (but limited) disease evident on leaf tissue.

Beans continue to progress well in the area, again with limited evidence of disease. Early-planted beans are at R1 in some areas, but more than one individual has commented on diminished size. Septoria is evident on some unifoliate leaf tissue, and a few producers have noted some Rhizoctonia root rot over the last week.

Wheat harvest is done in some areas and just getting started in others, with yield reports that range from 50 to 100 bushels per acre.

Alfalfa is facing substantial pressure from the potato leafhopper throughout the area, with many fields well yellowed as this article was written.

On the insect front, many producers note the emergence of western corn rootworm beetles and anxiously wait to see what that means for silk clipping. Likewise, Japanese beetles are a topic of discussion, with impressive, yet noneconomic, leaf injury noted in cornfields and soybean fields.

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