Issue No. 14, Article 3/June 27, 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 only a few spotty showers over the last week. Most of the former ponds have now been planted or replanted. Farmers and dealers have been rushing to catch up on postemergence herbicide applications. Unfortunately, the rush has led to some errors; drift and tank contamination are among the complaints. Wheat is not quite ready, but it is turning rapidly.
From Don Frederick in Cumberland/Jasper Extension: "Sporadic showers have interrupted farming the past week, but planting and replanting of soybeans are still occurring. Some corn acres have also been planted or replanted in the past 7 days. Currently the application of postemergent herbicides is consuming a lot of producers' time. Some wheat harvest has begun, and several producers have been busy trying to put up hay."
Corn and soybeans are beginning to display an overall healthier appearance as a result of the drier soil conditions and warmer temperatures, but the condition of the corn crop varies tremendously throughout the region. Many cornfields have yellow areas and uneven plant height. There was finally a dry week through most of the region, though scattered showers occurred on June 25. Field activities focused on finishing herbicide application on corn, side-dressing nitrogen, and beginning herbicide application on soybeans. A great deal of hay was mowed and baled during the past 10 days, which is very late for first cutting, but this has been the first extended dry period for weeks.
Wheat has begun to turn; there is some scab and rust present, but overall the crop looks very good.
Extension educators in the region have begun to monitor western bean cutworm moth traps.
More than a week of dry weather has finally allowed corn planting to get finished. Most of the fields planted in mid-June have excellent stands and would be perfect if they were only six to eight weeks more advanced in their development.
Wheat harvest is just beginning, and its progression is now dependent on weather. The rain forecast for the remainder of the week is not what growers need at this point. Full-season and double-crop soybean planting will nearly coincide with each other this year.
The region finally had about a week without rain, but the last few days have brought more rain and continued serious conditions for already flooded regions along the Mississippi River.
Ergot is showing up in grassheads, such as bromegrass and orchardgrass along roadsides. Practice caution for any pasture or roadside ditch that might be cut for forage that has the seedheads present. Ergot was also found in some triticale seedheads scattered throughout a wheat field in Hancock County.
This season has been conducive for the development of many diseases on wheat flag leaves, such as rust, scab, Septoria leaf and glume blotch organisms, and viruses and bacterial diseases. Many flag leaves are dying prematurely, and the health of the flag leaf is sure to impact yield. Pythium root rot and a Pseudomonas bacterial infection, probably bacterial leaf spot, were diagnosed in a field in Hancock County.
Soybeans are starting to show some seedling root and stem rots. The local field looked good overall, but had scattered plants with postemergence damping-off of seedling roots and stems.