Issue No. 7, Article 9/May 7, 2004
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.
Precipitation last weekend slowed planting progress in some areas; however, corn planting was more than 80% complete by May 5 throughout the region. Other field activities the past week have focused on seedbed preparation, preemergence herbicide application, and soybean planting. Widespread frost occurred on Monday morning, May 3; however, crop damage appears minimal. No reports have been received concerning severe frost damage to emerged corn.
Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports that alfalfa in northwest Illinois (six counties) ranged from 12 to 17 inches in height on May 3. Jim also reported wheat in Feekes 7.0 stage (second node visible) in the Freeport-Rockford area.
Bill Lindenmier, Ogle County Extension educator, reports soybean planting about 25% complete in Ogle County as of May 4.
Widespread rainfall over the past weekend brought field activities to a temporary halt. Most corn acreage has been planted, with growth stages ranging from VE through V2. White grubs, wireworms, and black cutworms may now be found in some fields, but no major problems have been reported. Cool weather has caused minor yellowing in some fields, but this symptom should rapidly disappear as temperatures warm later during the week. Ron Hines continues to report intense captures of black cutworm moths in pheromone traps.
Soybean planting was just getting started before the rains came, with few plants yet emerged.
Wheat growth stage ranges from Feekes 10.2 along the I-70 corridor through 10.51 at the southern end of the state. The crop condition looks good overall, though there is some concern about scab potential in areas where wheat was flowering during the previous rainy spell. Stripe rust can be found in some fields but is not yet severe.
Alfalfa from Benton to the southern tip of the state has reached harvest maturity, with much of it already cut. The PEAQ Web site at http://peaq.outreach.uiuc.edu indicates that from I-70 south to Benton, harvest is fast approaching. Many fields have being harvested earlier than optimal timing due to the presence of alfalfa weevil. Fields that were cut early because weevils were present should be carefully monitored for regrowth and treated with an insecticide if necessary.
Continued rain, while welcome, has hindered planting and herbicide applications throughout the area. In some areas, producers got back into the fields late last weekend only to be rained out again on Tuesday.
We continue to receive reports of uneven corn emergence, some fields with plants emerging over 2 weeks apart. Potential culprits include low soil moisture at planting, planting depth (shallow as well as very deep for those trying to reach moisture), and the potential adverse effects of seed treatments on the ability of the seed to imbibe moisture.
Only a few insect problems have been reported. However, Sangamon/Menard Unit is reporting "lots" of evidence of bird/fowl injury to stands, with many holes with seedlings "plucked" away.
Soybean planting is continuing, with a few fields already emerged. With all the early planting that has taken place, the potential incidence of sudden death syndrome (SDS) may be increased. SDS also appears to favor fields that have high levels of fertility. It will be important to keep an eye on any of those fields planted in mid-April. For more info on SDS, go to http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/512.PDF.
Most wheat fields are at least Feekes growth stage 9 (flag leaf emerged), with some approaching stage 10 (boot). More viral diseases are being reported in the western part of the region. Cool weather has caused some of the yellow flecking to appear again. Winter annuals can still be noticed in some fields.