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Issue No. 17, Article 9/July 21, 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

We hope these reports will provide additional benefits for staying current as the season progresses.

Northern Illinois

The majority of the region's corn crop is in full silk. Most of the area received from 0.5 to 1.5 inches of precipitation midweek during the week of July 9, which was most welcome for pollination. A significant portion of the wheat in the northern part of the region has yet to be harvested. Bill Lindenmier, Extension educator, reported wheat yields from 80 to 100 bushels per acre in Ogle County.

Some areas had fungicide applications occurring on pretassel to early-tassel corn; however, disease pressure may have been light. No reports have been received of corn treated for rootworm beetle or Japanese beetle silk clipping. We continue to receive reports of soybean aphids being quite common in soybean fields, but no economic populations have been reported. Bean leaf beetles, Japanese beetles, and grasshoppers are present in soybeans, but leaf feeding is at noneconomic levels.

Southern Illinois

Most areas of the region received significant rainfall in the form of locally intense thunderstorms during the previous week. An exception is a small area east of St. Louis that has received essentially no rainfall for the past five weeks. It is so dry there that at least one soybean field has been treated for spider mites.

Japanese beetles continue to plague both corn and soybean fields. Some soybean fields have reportedly been sprayed twice for this pest, and the beetles still keep coming back. Blank ear tips on corn can be observed where beetles came in before pollination was complete. Western corn rootworms are commonly being observed in cornfields along the I-70 corridor, though at least some of these reports involve corn planted after corn rather than corn planted after soybean.

The University of Illinois Brownstown Agronomy Research Center Field Day will be held on Thursday, July 27, at 9:00 a.m. The center is located on Illinois Route 185, south of Brownstown. A free lunch is provided, and Certified Crop Advisers can earn up to 3 continuing education units.

West-Central Illinois

Corn across the area has finished pollinating, and some fields are at R2, or blister, stage. Many fields are showing stress due to a lack of moisture, with the lower leaves beginning to fire and leaves curling by midday. Reports of western corn rootworm and Japanese beetles continue across the area. Aerial applications to control silk clipping have slowed, as pollination is complete in most fields.

Soybeans range from R2 to R3, with varied amounts of growth depending on soil type, rainfall amounts, and tillage. Reports of soybean aphids have been few. With the temperatures exceeding 90°F, it is unlikely that aphids will become a problem while the weather continues to be hot. There have been few problems with foliar diseases.

Most alfalfa fields have been cut for the third time, though some producers will begin cutting this week. With the lack of moisture in most of the area, many have indicated that this cutting is on the short side. Cow pea aphids in alfalfa were reported near the Springfield area.

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