Issue No. 16, Article 7/July 11, 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 western portion of the northern region received precipitation on July 7 and 8, with several areas reporting 0.5 to 1 inch. The rainfall was welcome, as corn on some lighter soils had been observed rolling leaves during the holiday weekend.
Extension educators have been monitoring western bean cutworm moth traps for several weeks; to date they report at most a few catches per trap location. Several educators have reported finding no soybean aphids in their weekly monitoring efforts in soybean sentinel plots but reported the first observations of Japanese beetles this season.
Wheat is rapidly maturing, with harvest being reported in the far southern area of the region. Jim Morrison, crop systems extension educator, reports that some alfalfa fields have been treated for potato leafhoppers. Considerable alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mix has been cut for hay, some for the first time this season and some for the second cutting.
Remember that the annual Field Day at the University of Illinois Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center (near Shabbona in DeKalb County) is Thursday, July 17, with tours beginning at 4:00. Tours will depart from the farmstead every 20 minutes until 5:00 and last about 2 hours. University of Illinois Extension specialists will present information on corn progress and outlook, fungicides and diseases on corn, field crop insects, weed control, and dealing with high input costs. The research center can be reached by going 1 mile east of Shabbona on Route 30, then 5-1/2 miles north on University Road. Continuing education units for Certified Crop Advisers will be available.
The 2008 planting season has finally drawn to a close, as the last double-crop soybeans were put in the ground earlier in the week. Thunderstorms delayed wheat harvest in some areas and led to double-crop planting being even later than normal. Soils throughout the southern region remain saturated, which may actually be a good thing since much of the crop does not have an extensive root system to tap subsoil moisture if soils were to dry rapidly.
The few acres of corn that were planted early are now approaching tasseling. At the other end of the spectrum, late-planted non-GMO cornfields are being damaged by black cutworms, first generation corn borers, and corn earworms.
Weed control, or lack of it, varies widely throughout the region. Delayed postemergence applications, whether deliberate or otherwise, have resulted in weeds being well beyond the maximum size for optimum control.