Issue No. 7, Article 5/May 11, 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.
Corn planting occurred at a rapid pace last week and through the current week. For a change of pace, the area has received limited precipitation over the past 10 days. Completion estimates on corn planting for the northern region are at 90%. Other activities last week and this week focused on preemergence herbicide application, anhydrous ammonia application, and secondary tillage. Some producers began to plant soybeans over the weekend, and soybean planting was more widespread by midweek.
Warm weather has caused alfalfa to grow rapidly during the last week. Alfalfa producers are encouraged to check the PEAQ (Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality) Web site, peaq.traill.uiuc.edu, to see the estimated (based on plant height and maturity) relative feed value of standing alfalfa. Dave Feltes, IPM extension educator, reported observing alfalfa weevil larvae activity.
Ellen Phillips, crop systems extension educator, reports some northeastern Illinois wheat fields being tilled due to earlier cold injury.
Most wheat has now headed and is in the process of flowering. It may not have improved significantly from earlier damage, but at least it is more esthetically acceptable at heading. Many growers are now going to take the crop to harvest to see what it will do.
Cool-season perennial forage grasses have also headed, and hay harvest is in progress between rain showers.
Some corn planting is continuing, and emerged corn is VE to V2. Planting and nitrogen sidedress activities have been common in drier areas of southeastern Illinois. Soybean planting is active, with just an occasional field emerged.
Southwestern Illinois is wetter than the southeastern part of the state. There is some concern for potential flooding along the Mississippi River.
Have a safe planting season.
Drier weather and warmer temperatures helped most farmers finish corn planting over the weekend. Corn varies from a few fields still to be planted to the earliest fields approaching the V3 stage. A few fields are starting to have problems with emergence if they were planted just before some of the heavy downpours during the past two weeks. Black cutworms are showing up in some fields as well. Producers should be advised to scout for this pest over the next several weeks.
Soybean planting has started in the western side of the region and should be in full swing throughout the region later this week if weather allows. Remember to watch the earliest emerging fields for bean leaf beetles.
Wheat and alfalfa are recovering very well from the frost damage a few weeks ago. First cutting of alfalfa may start in as little as 10 days in some of the most advanced fields.
There are scattered reports of armyworms in wheat in some areas, so be diligent with your scouting efforts.