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Issue No. 12, Article 5/June 13, 2008

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. 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.

Northern Illinois

Field activity has been minimal throughout the region in the past 2 weeks or so. Rainfall on June 7 and 8 varied from 1.5 to 2.5 inches across most of the northern area. Soybean planting remains at about 90% completion. Some growers have struggled to complete side-dressing anhydrous ammonia, which has come to a standstill due to wet soil conditions. Some soybeans may need to replanted after the heavy rains, but to date that has not been determined.

Some alfalfa has been harvested, but there are many acres that have not been cut as growers are waiting for some dry weather.

Just a reminder: The first session of the 2008 Crops Training Center summer sessions will be held on Thursday, June 26, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona. The session will focus on field crop insect issues to date and others that may arise through July in northern Illinois. Presenters will include Dr. Kevin Steffey, University of Illinois Extension specialist, and area extension educators. Pre-registration is requested by June 23 and can be made by contacting Greg Clark, gmclark@uiuc.edu, Whiteside County Extension Unit, 815-772-4075. Cost is $30 per person, and Certified Crop Adviser CEUs have been applied for.

Southern Illinois

With the passing of the June 5 corn-planting deadline for crop insurance, many growers are faced with filing claims for prevented and/or failed planting and with deciding whether to keep existing stands, to replant again, or possibly to switch to another crop if herbicide applications permit. The corn crop condition is highly variable throughout the region, with some fields having excellent stands and others being disastrous. Corn height ranges from just germinating to nearly thigh high, but the latter is definitely a rarity.

Wheat is rapidly turning color as it approaches maturity. Head scab can easily be found in many fields, with incidence levels varying depending on variety, heading date, and whether a fungicide was applied. Other foliar diseases such as rust are also becoming prevalent.

West-Central Illinois

The rainfall totals for the past week were extremely variable. The western and southern portions of the region are extremely wet, with many fields under water. Almost every field shows some effect of being too wet, from yellow corn to ditches being cut across fields. Most streams and rivers are out of their banks.

Corn planting is done in the eastern part of the region; the western side has some corn to plant yet, but that is not likely to happen due to the wet conditions. Corn height ranges from V3 to V7 across the region, and in some cases in the same field. Most corn is growing fast enough with the recent heat to be past the stage of concern about cutworms. However, first-generation European corn borer were caught last week.

Soybean planting is quite variable as well. The eastern part of the region is about 90% done, and the western side is only about 20% to 25% planted. Bean leaf beetles are evident, but so far not at damaging levels.

There is evidence of scab in some of the wheat, and there are starting to be more leaf fungal diseases in flag leaf as well.

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