Issue No. 24, Article 5/November 9, 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.
There is some corn yet to harvest in northwest Illinois and the counties bordering Wisconsin. Overall corn yields were excellent, with many fields averaging 200 bushels or more. Bill Lindenmier, crop systems Extension educator in Ogle County, reported that two of their corn hybrid plots, corn after corn and corn after soybeans, averaged over 200 bushels per acre. With the mild fall temperatures, anhydrous ammonia application has only occurred for about 10 days throughout the region. Chopping of corn stalks prior to primary tillage certainly has been more common this fall than in recent years.
Generally, seeding for wheat was timely, and appearance looks good going into the winter. Soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) disease was widespread throughout the region, but the yield effect has been difficult to quantify. Asian soybean rust presence was confirmed in late October in Bureau County.
Harvest is complete, with probably one of the earliest on record. There was average-plus for corn and average-minus for soybeans, depending on location. The 2007 season did not smile on most of southern Illinois.
Wheat acres appear to have increased significantly. Wheat fields are good or better and range from the two-leaf stage to some that have tillered. A 20-degree freeze on November 7 along with the time change indicates a transition in seasons.
Quite a bit of fall work has been accomplished in terms of fertilizer and herbicide applications as well as some tillage. Have a good Thanksgiving and remember to attend the winter agronomy meetings.
Corn and soybean harvest proceeded rather quickly, beginning in late August. Corn yields across the region were good to excellent. Soybean yields were below to slightly above average.
Wheat acres increased slightly from last year.
Tillage as well as anhydrous application are ongoing.
A general attitude among growers seems to indicate that corn acres will be lowered somewhat from last year and soybean acres increased. Input costs on the corn side, higher soybean prices, and increased wheat acres are causing some growers to rethink the economics of corn on lighter-colored, lower-organic-matter soils.