Issue No. 1, Article 13/March 23, 2007
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.
It is the first day of spring, and the 2007 crop season is just around the corner.
Soils in the region have been saturated for almost five months. Yes, there was a brief frozen period and a very brief dry period, but it has been wet for a long time.
Wheat is green and has been actively growing for one to two weeks. There have been fields with some stand loss due to drainage, planting date, and varietal characteristics. Drowned areas are the main concern, and some fields will be considered failed.
Rainfall over the past week has been spotty, ranging from a trace to nearly half an inch. More is predicted throughout the week. Some tillage and anhydrous applications have taken place in the extreme western portions of the region where the soil moisture situation allows. These areas have topsoils and subsoils that are still not fully charged with moisture.
The winter wheat crop survived the winter in relatively good shape. Greater desiccation has been noted with most stands, but the past two weeks have provided excellent opportunities for resumed growth. Plants have responded and tillering is taking place. Most fields have had their spring nitrogen fertilizer application as well.
Planting of oats has been taking place over the past week. Many pastures have been overseeded with legumes and/or have had nitrogen applications made.
There will be more corn planted in the region, but there are widespread differences among producers as to how many additional corn acres will be planted, if any.