Issue No. 9, Article 13/May 25, 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.
Rain has remained pretty scarce for much of the area. Weather has been good for the first alfalfa cutting. No-till producers with surface-applied UAN or urea are rightfully concerned about losses and will probably be sidedressing some additional nitrogen. Corn ranges mostly from V2 to V4. A few reports of white grub and cutworm damage have been received. Very few soybean fields have yet to be planted; fields range from bare ground to V1.
A majority of the soybeans have been planted throughout the region. Some producers are waiting for some rainfall before finishing soybean planting. The major concern, or potential concern, in some areas is the dry soil conditions, as very little precipitation has been received in the region since late April. Soil moisture in many areas is needed to incorporate soil-applied herbicides and initiate soybean seed germination. Also, there has been some concern about potential nitrogen loss from surface-applied urea and UAN solutions.
Considerable alfalfa has been harvested, and growers are reminded to monitor regrowth for alfalfa weevil damage. Bean leaf beetle feeding has been observed in several emerging soybean fields, but there have been no reports of economic damage. Reports on the condition of the wheat crop indicate little disease pressure but uneven plant development, even within the same fields. Some scattered frost was observed in some low areas on Friday, May 18, by Bill Lindenmier, Ogle County crop systems educator, but no crop damage has been reported to date.
Wheat continues to develop and is now in the milk stage. Head scab is obvious in some fields. Barley yellow dwarf symptoms are easy to detect and will be further reducing yields at affected locations.
Most are calling corn planting and replanting done. Growth ranges from emerging to about V6. There is substantial variability in appearance, with both good fields and fields lacking uniformity. Growers have been actively sidedressing nitrogen.
Soybean planting has rapidly progressed in the past 10 days. Most fields are VE to V2.
The last week has offered unusually good weather for harvesting hay. Early indications point toward lower hay yields.
Typical for this time of the year, there have been a few reports of feeding by cutworm, wireworm, and grubs. Even a few slugs have been noticed. True armyworm movement from wheat to corn has required insecticide application at select locations.
Corn is planted, and growth stages range from VE to V5 due to heavy rains during planting that caused delays in some areas. Soybeans are mostly in the ground, and some plants are emerging. The Quincy area has experienced some armyworm injury to corn planted into wheat fields.
Wheat is heading and pollinating. Some wheat fields in the area have signs of barley yellow dwarf and wheat streak virus infection, as well as tan spot and Cephalosporium stripe. Some wheat received fungicide treatments before heading that may have been encouraged by high wheat prices and an attempt to increase and/or protect yield.
First cutting is beginning in some alfalfa fields. Cold damaged this perennial plant in early April, so it should be allowed to bloom before harvest to allow ample food reserves to be stored for quick regrowth of the second cutting.