Issue No. 11, Article 6/June 6, 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.
The Decatur-Champaign area has received more than 5 inches of rain since last Friday. Little fieldwork has occurred, and significant ponding may cause localized crop problems. Prior to the storms, farmers were finishing up soybean planting.
From Don Frederick in Cumberland/Jasper Extension: "Although periodic showers have occurred in the past seven days, farming has progressed. The corn crop is nearly all in the ground, and the replant corn may soon catch up with the earlier planted fields. Soybean planting is approaching 70% completion. Haying is occurring between rain showers, and the wheat crop is progressing quite nicely."
Corn planting is complete throughout the region; soybean planting is about 85% complete but varies. Field activity has been minimal in most areas from May 25 through June 4 due to several thunderstorm events. Field work that did occur focused on soybean planting, herbicide application, and sidedressing anyhydrous ammonia.
The warmer temperatures have greatly improved the appearance of the corn crop, and soybeans are beginning to emerge. Wheat is headed, and no reports of widespread diseases have been received. The wet weather has made alfalfa harvest difficult, with some fields yet to be harvested.
Continued rainfall during the past week has prevented any significant planting progress. While some cornfields remain untouched, others have been replanted--in some cases twice--and are still failed. Some fields are beginning to show emerged corn with adequate stands, but that is by far the exception.
Hay harvest has also been a challenge. Fields where producers were lucky enough to have harvested haylage in early May are now awaiting dry weather for the second cutting to be taken. Many other fields are in full bloom, lodged, and still waiting for first cutting. In between are the fields that were cut and rained on several times in late May before the hay was gotten off.
Wheat is beginning to lose its bright green color as it begins the approach to physiological maturity. In spite of wet conditions, wheat remains the bright spot in this year's crop production, and growers are wishing they had more acres of it.
The annual Ewing Field Day will be held Thursday, June 12, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Topics will include wheat production, corn replanting decisions, and crop insurance issues. The Ewing Demonstration Center is about 12 miles northeast of Benton. From Illinois Route 37, turn east on Ewing Road and watch for signs. If weather conditions are questionable, call 618-242-9310 heading out.
Soybean planting progress is varied across the west-central region. Depending on location, beans may stand at 80% planted or 80% yet to be planted. Recent rainfall has also been varied. A few to several inches were poured on much of the region; depending on the total, the precipitation is seen as a benefit or a detriment. The weather conditions have hampered progress on the first cutting of alfalfa, which is struggling to get underway throughout the region.
Wheat is headed out, with mild disease pressure in most of the district. Fungicides have been the topic at hand in wheat production circles, with a lot of material applied to wheat over the last week.
Corn averages about 3 leaves in the region. Plant color is a concern in some fields. A few fields have displayed some superficial tissue injury that may be a result of low temperatures encountered a few weeks ago. Others display tissue injury associated with surfactants--a perennial but minor problem. A few fields are simply suffering from wet feet (or in this case roots), imparting an off color to the plant. Some fields have progressed past these issues and are greening up, while others continue to struggle.
Cutworms continue to be a topic of discussion in corn, with some early season winter annual problems apparently providing an imidacloprid-free food source that has led to impressive cutworm sizes in otherwise treated seed. Many populations are presenting a confusing decision for producers who find injury just shy of recommended thresholds.