Issue No. 2, Article 13/April 6, 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.
Winter wheat throughout the region appears to have come through the winter in good shape. There was some earlier concern about wheat health as a result of the ice-covered fields during February and early March. The wet soil conditions this spring have delayed nearly all spring oat and alfalfa seeding to date. Also, tillage operations have been very sparse because of the wet conditions. Extension educators will be monitoring black cutworm moth traps throughout the northern region and will be reporting moth captures (or absence of captures) in future weekly reports.
The weather is impacting crop agriculture in southern Illinois. Wheat growers are concerned that low temperature forecasts in the low to mid-20s could result in significant crop damage. Most wheat is Feekes 6 to 7 growth stage and is at risk for injury.
Frequent rains have kept many farmers out of the fields. Some fertilizer and herbicide applications have been accomplished, but limited tillage and very little corn planting.
Alfalfa weevils have come on like gangbusters. Winter annual weeds have responded to the warm temperatures and moist soils with rapid growth. Things can change quickly, but we need a change for the better.
The west central district has a lot of variability in rainfall and soil conditions. We have had anywhere from .2 to over 3 inches of rain in the last week.
Wheat looks good in most areas except where stand establishment was questionable due to planting and other problems. Tillering is progressing well. Most fields have had nitrogen applied at this point.
Alfalfa looks a little thin in some areaspeople probably pushed a late cut a little too late, and the winter was thus rough on those fields. However, alfalfa growth seems to be ahead of schedule, and some first cuttings may be earlier than normal this year.
Fields are rapidly turning green with winter annuals. Some EPP herbicide applications have been made in the very western areas, but not many.
As everywhere, seed supplies are deemed tight in this area. Producers have to get it right the first time around or they might not like their seed choices a second time.
Corn is being planted in the southern Pike County bottoms.