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Issue No. 15, Article 7/July 3, 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.

East-Central Illinois

Mild weather has enabled most planting/replanting to be completed. Corn varies from chest-high to V-1. First-generation European corn borer is being found in some areas. Some suspected corn borer damage is actually first-generation corn earworm whorl feeding. Soybean sizes are not quite as varied as corn. Wheat is almost ready to harvest. but moisture is still a little high.

From Don Frederick, Cumberland/Jasper Extension: This area of the state continues to get periodic rainfall that complicates accomplishing seasonal tasks. Some wheat has been harvested, but a sizeable portion of the Jasper County crop remains in the field. Some planting of double-crop soybeans has occurred, but much is yet to be done. Much of the corn acreage has a canopy that is beginning to close, and the harvesting of hay continues.

Northern Illinois

Field activities the past week focused on postemergence herbicide application on soybeans, but nitrogen side-dressing and herbicide application were still occurring in some cornfields during the week of June 22.

Wheat has turned, and there have been minimal reports of disease pressure.

There have been very few reports of insect or disease infestations in corn and soybeans the entire growing season. Extension educators are monitoring soybean sentinel plots weekly for soybean rust and soybean aphids. To date only a few western bean cutworm moths have been captured in traps monitored by Extension educators.

Southern Illinois

Rainfall over the past week has become more seasonal from the standpoint that some areas received significant rain while others remain dry. The range in crop development is probably the most extreme it has ever been, with corn ranging anywhere from V-2 up to V-18 and full-season soybeans from V-1 up to R-1. Cooler-than-normal temperatures are allowing crops with impaired root systems to develop without undue stress.

The delay in planting has also meant a delay in herbicide applications. In many cases crops appear to have been planted naked, with the intention of coming back and controlling weeds later. Uncontrolled or poorly controlled horseweed (marestail) is obvious in many no-till fields, which may be due to either herbicide resistance or simply delayed herbicide timing.

Although none of the levees along the Mississippi south of St. Louis is in danger of failing, many of the bottomland fields are experiencing severe crop damage from seep water.

Wheat harvest is rapidly approaching completion, with growers reporting yields in the 60- to 80-bushel range.

West-Central Illinois

The west-central region is quite variable in crop conditions. The crops look excellent in the eastern side of the region and get to the point of thousands of acres under water on the western side.

Corn throughout the region varies from just recently planted to over 6 feet tall, with the average height being close to shoulder high. The earliest planted fields are about 4 leaves from tassel. You can find fields that are yellow and stunted to even and green depending on your travels and the amount of rain that fell in a given area. Insect pests were noted in many fields. European corn borer and corn earworm are/were numerous on non-GMO corn. The first Japanese beetles were noted late last week.

Soybeans are variable as well, from a few fields that have not been planted to V6, with the average around V4. Many soybean diseases are present, which is quite early compared to most years.

Wheat harvest will likely start this weekend. It appears that yields will be slightly above average.

Second-cutting alfalfa is well under way. Potato leafhoppers are very common, and most fields will be sprayed as soon as regrowth occurs.

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