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Issue No. 6, Article 8/May 4, 2007

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

Precipitation on April 25 and 26 halted field activities for the remainder of last week. According to the Illinois State Water Survey, last week's rainfall totals for the northeast and northwest regions averaged 2.25 and 2.47 inches, respectively.

Limited field activity began in some areas of the region late Monday, April 30, and was more widespread by Tuesday. Corn planting estimates are around 25% or more through Tuesday, May 1. Activities focused on corn planting, anhydrous ammonia application and herbicide application. Oat and forage seeding are mostly completed. Jim Morrison, extension educator reports the majority of the wheat in northwest Illinois is in or near the second joint stage, Feekes 7. Lyle Paul, area agronomist at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona reported that corn planted on April 10 in conventional plots emerged on April 30.

Two intense black cutworm moth captures (9 or more moths captured in one or two consecutive days) were reported in Lee County on April 23 and 25. Emerged winter annual weeds in untilled fields are more prevalent throughout the region, which serve as an attractive egg-laying site for black cutworm moths.

Southern Illinois

Yes, almost a month later, wheat growers are still evaluating freeze damage. The damage has finally become more of an economic assessment than an agronomic evaluation. Wheat growth stage ranges from Feekes 9 to 10.1. Growth is slightly behind average due to the freeze. Wheat heads appear to be smaller than normal.

Alfalfa fields have struggled back from freeze damage. There have been instances where alfalfa weevil have prevented regrowth. Some producers have confused this pest damage with freeze damage.

Corn planting has moved quickly from just getting started to having most of the crop planted in the past week. Field work conditions have been very good at most locations.

West-Central Illinois

Planting progress ranges from 10% to 100% complete, depending upon location. The southern and western parts of the region are most advanced, with some corn at V2 stage (planted on or around the Easter time period). Obviously, those on the low end of planting progress are somewhat frustrated. A few who have completed corn are now beginning soybean planting.

Producers in the Adams/Brown counties area have reported intense captures of black cutworm moth flights during April (six individuals reporting 7 intense captures). We've not had this much moth activity for quite some time.

Nearly all of the area wheat has shown a marked increase in plant health since the April cold. The southern part of the region has wheat with the flag leaf emerged. Plant health is generally excellent.

Alfalfa regrowth has been slow since the April cold. Some fields have been treated for weevil activity.

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