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Issue No. 8, Article 9/May 14, 2004

Regional Reports

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.

East-Central Illinois

Southern east-central Illinois. Great progress has been made in the planting of both corn and soybeans in the southeastern portion of the east-central region. Warmer temperatures and drying soils have been major contributors. Many producers are nearing the completion of their corn-planting chores, and many have a very good portion of their soybeans planted as well. Environmental conditions seem to have been suitable for EPP herbicide applications resulting in excellent weed control at this time. May 6 to 11 found many hay producers harvesting their first cutting of alfalfa. Although there was some evidence of alfalfa weevil feeding, few chemical treatments, if any, were needed in this portion of the state. This next week should find many planters and drills being put away for the season if our current fair weather conditions continue.

Northern east-central Illinois. Soybean planting progressed rapidly last week despite occasional showers. The corn is all up and the earliest-planted soybeans are starting to emerge. Minor damage from bean leaf beetles is present in those fields. "Butterweed" is in full bloom in fields that have not received any tillage or herbicide applications. Amish farmers reported some alfalfa fields at near threshold levels for alfalfa weevil.

Northern Illinois

Variable precipitation was received throughout the region from Friday, May 7, through Monday, May 10. Rainfall received May 10 varied from 0 to 1.5 inches, halting fieldwork in many areas. Corn planting is nearly complete throughout the region. Corn emergence and population have been fairly uniform to date; however, many fields have yet to emerge.

Soybean planting progress is further along in the northwest region compared to the northeast. For example, Bill Lindenmier, Extension educator, suggests 50% to 60% of the soybean planting in Ogle County is complete, while Russ Higgins, Extension educator, reports about a third of the soybean planting is complete in Grundy County.

Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports observing alfalfa weevil larvae but below economic threshold levels.

Southern Illinois

Scattered rainfall during the past week slowed planting in some areas while not affecting others. Some cornfields in the Wabash River valley are being replanted due to backwater flooding. Corn development ranges from V1 to nearly V5, with the major problems being reported as wireworm, white grub, and bird damage.

Soybean planting is progressing rapidly. Burndown herbicides seem to be doing an excellent job taking down winter annuals in no-till fields. Beans planted a week ago are beginning to emerge.

First cutting of alfalfa harvest is also rapidly progressing. An earlier-than- normal harvest coupled with mostly dry and windy weather conditions is resulting in very high-quality hay.

Wheat development ranges from Feekes 10.51 to 11. Little foliar disease pressure is evident so far. Penn State's wheat scab risk index indicates that most of the wheat-growing area of the state is now at a high risk for scab infection if flowering was still in progress earlier this week.

West-Central Illinois

Producers took full advantage of the dry weather this past week, with soybean planting continuing at a rapid pace. Planting is estimated at 30% complete, with numbers varying widely across the region. Warm weather has the emerged corn looking good and growing rapidly. Corn planted in April is at growth stage V3 to V4. Windy conditions last week hampered some spraying of herbicides.

Many wheat fields are in the boot or heading stages. So far, there have been no reports of significant disease problems. Producers should scout their fields periodically for armyworm and other insects.

The first cutting of alfalfa is under way. There have been some reports of fields being treated for alfalfa weevil after the first cutting is removed. Fields that were cut early because weevils were present should be carefully monitored for regrowth and treated with an insecticide if necessary.

Kevin Steffey

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