Issue No. 10, Article 4/May 30, 2008
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.
Soybeans that have been in the ground for over two weeks have finally started to emerge. Corn is starting to visibly grow again. Some wheat is being sprayed with fungicide. Farmers have been trying to get first cuttings of hay in between rain events.
Replanting of corn has begun in the last few days in the southern part of the East-Southeast crop reporting district. Some planting of soybeans has occurred, but minimal at best. Hay harvest has also begun, but with the threat of impending rain, continuing lack of sunshine, and damp soil conditions, it is not progressing rapidly. The winter wheat crop is making good headway with little evidence of fungal disease symptoms. It is possible that some intended corn acreage may be shifted to an alternative crop if replanting is delayed or spoiled by continuous wet soil conditions.
Most of the northwestern region received nearly an inch of rain on May 25-26, with some areas receiving up to 3 inches. Other areas in the southeastern part of the region received about 0.3 inch of rain in the same period.
Corn planting is nearly complete, and soybean planting is over 70% complete. Rotary hoeing of corn was more common last week than it has been for a number of years. Some of the slow corn emergence may have been influenced more by slow accumulation of heat units than by soil crusting. Other activities last week included preemergence herbicide application and soybean planting. Bill Lindenmier, crop systems extension educator in Ogle County, has observed corn planted the week of May 5 more likely to exhibit uneven population stands compared to corn planted prior to or after (if emerged) the week of May 5.
Alfalfa harvest has begun, but drier and warmer conditions are needed for it to continue. There have been no reports of wheat diseases.
An additional 2.3 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend has brought the region's rainfall totals to 24 inches since March 1. Needless to say, no further progress has been made in planting or hay harvesting in the past week. Weather forecasts predict more rain this weekend; if it comes, any potential corn planting and/or replanting is likely to bump up against the June 5 crop insurance deadline.
Wheat continues to look good despite the wet conditions. Some lodging is occurring due to the wetness.
Portions of the region received up to 4 inches of rain over the Memorial Day weekend. Prior to storms on Saturday, farmers in the southern and southwestern parts of the region were gearing back up to plant corn and to replant cornfields struggling to emerge since they were originally planted around May 6. Other areas are completely planted and have seen fields already treated for black, sandhill, and dingy cutworm infestations.
Depending on the area, soybean planting ranges from 0% to 75% complete. Only a few places have soybeans that have emerged.
Wheat is beginning to flower in many fields. Reports of smut, powdery mildew, and a few viral infections have been noted. Many producers are making aerial applications of fungicides to prevent severe infections of scab.
First cuttings of alfalfa and grass hay are taking place. Farmers are struggling to dry these crops, and some have resorted to wet chopping and bagging as weather conditions have been unsuitable for proper dry-down.