Issue No. 9, Article 9/May 21, 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.
The majority of the region received more than 1.5 inches of rain during the week of May 10 to May 16. Additional widespread rainfall was received early this week, which contributed to limited fieldwork in many areas. However, corn planting is virtually complete, with soybean planting estimated at more than 50% complete.
Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports that according to PEAQ procedures (Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality), alfalfa should be harvested if growers desire high quality. Reports have been received concerning alfalfa weevil activity, but damage is below economic threshold levels.
Also, bean leaf beetle activity has been observed in emerged soybean. Refer to issue no.8 (May 14, 2004) of the Bulletin for information concerning bean leaf beetle economic threshold levels and treatment options.
More than 3 inches of rainfall last Friday brought field activities to a halt in the northwestern section of the southern region, while other areas received much less. More storms are being forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, which will add to already saturated soil conditions. Soybean planted just prior to the rain is struggling to emerge, while soybean planted earlier is doing better.
Corn growth stages range from V2 through V6. No major problems are being reported, although some fields show scattered thin spots that may be due to earlier wireworm damage.
Wheat development is at Feekes 11. Fields with heavy stands are showing some powdery mildew development as well as septoria leaf blotch.
Musk thistle and poison hemlock are beginning to flower along roadsides and pastures.
More than 2 inches of rain fell May 10 through May 13, halting all fieldwork. Soils dried out enough for producers to get back in the field on Monday, only to be rained out again Tuesday afternoon.
For the most part, corn looks very good and is growing rapidly. Growth stages vary from V3 to V6 in some fields. Problems from white grub feeding continue, with one field in Morgan County showing a stand loss of up to 15%.
Soybean is emerging in about 6 days, with no major problems reported so far.
The first cutting of alfalfa has slowed due to the rain. The relative feed value could potentially decrease if the wet weather continues and harvesting is not possible soon.
Wheat development ranges from Feekes 10.5 to 11. Overall, the crop looks very good, with little foliar disease pressure evident.