Issue No. 18, Article 8/July 28, 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 major news in the past week has been back-to-back storms on July 19 and 21. Areas hit with high winds and hail have suffered serious crop damage. Hail has caused severe defoliation of both corn and soybean in areas south of Bunker Hill, around Trenton to Breese, and probably other areas as well. Some corn is root-lodged, while other fields are broken over. We have been receiving numerous questions regarding how much yield loss may result and whether it would be preferable to harvest as silage if possible.
Most of the corn is at R3 (milk stage), and soybean is at R3 to R4 (pod development). Japanese beetles seem to be slowing down a bit, or perhaps growers have finally given up worrying about them. They can still be easily found tunneling down into the tip of corn ears to consume silks. Although pollination is complete, this type of injury may open the husk and promote the development of ear rots.
Western corn root worms are being observed in some soybean fields in the northern part of the region.
News from the region includes the arrival of badly needed rainfall this past week. Many counties experienced slightly cooler temperatures, too. Most of Woodford County received about 1 to 1.5 inches over a three-day period, and areas around Christian County reported almost 2 inches of rain. The crops responded dramatically in areas where rain was received; soybean plants grew a foot last week in Adams and Brown counties, while in Montgomery County corn is starting to elbow back after high winds and storms blew over corn plants in that area.
Corn is done pollinating, except for a few very late-planted or seed fields. Soybeans in the region are in the R2 or R3 growth stage.
We had very few insect problems during pollination. Soybean aphids have been found in Woodford County but not in most other areas. A few soybean fields have been sprayed for Japanese beetles in Christian County. Some western corn rootworm beetles have been found in soybeans, but in general not much soybean defoliation by insect feeding has been observed.
Many fields look good and have low disease pressure, although a soybean sentinel plot at the Orr Center is suspected to have symptoms of SDS. Some soybean fields in Sangamon and Menard counties have Rhizoctonia-like symptoms.
Alfalfa is rather short due to the lack of rain. Third cutting is just getting started. Potato leafhoppers are a problem in alfalfa areas in Sangamon and Menard counties.