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Issue No. 20, Article 10/August 10, 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

Scattered thunderstorms went through the region the weekend of August 4 and 5, with amounts ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 inches in many areas. Heavy thunderstorms went through the Rockford area during the early morning hours of August 7, with confirmed reports of 5 to over 6 inches.

The major concern in the northern region presently is the large increase in soybean aphid populations over the past two weeks. There have not been any reports of widespread insecticide treatment for soybean aphids, but reports have been received of at least a few treated fields in many counties in the region. Soybean aphid populations have not been reduced greatly by the recent hot temperatures. Also, few predators, such as the Asian lady beetle, are present compared with the past several years. Potato leafhoppers are still present in alfalfa fields.

Greg Clark, Whiteside County crop systems educator, reported white mold disease appearing in a few soybean fields. Full soybean canopies, tall soybeans, and high humidity throughout the region may contribute to additional soybean white mold reports in the near future. Reports have been received from several counties of soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) appearing in fields.

Southern Illinois

We have transitioned from good to fair to poor growing conditions over the past two weeks. Temperatures exceeding 100 degrees and dry soils do not require much elaboration. Some locations are better or worse than others.

Fortunately, much of the corn is now at dent stage. Even at that, it is still losing some yield. Other crops are in the survival mode and possibly losing that battle.

Pest problems are limited. Hopefully there will be better news to report next week.

West-Central Illinois

Crop conditions vary from excellent to very poor across the region, mostly defined by moisture conditions. Areas in the southwestern portion of the region are extremely dry; some places have recorded less than 2 inches of rain in the past seven weeks. The areas that have received rain look very good, with extremely high yield potentials.

Much of the corn has dented, and harvest is rapidly advancing as the hot weather matures the crop. Some corn silage will be chopped beginning next week. Gray leaf spot can be found in fields at varying levels.

Soybean aphids can be found throughout the region; populations vary tremendously. Some fields have been treated. Spider mites are also appearing. In the areas where moisture has been noted, sudden death syndrome can be found.

Hay and pasture are basically nonexistent. Hay feeding is not uncommon. Small square bales of alfalfa are bringing $5 and more locally.

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