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Issue No. 17, Article 6/July 18, 2008

Regional Reports

Northern Illinois

Several thunderstorms went through the area last week, with precipitation totals ranging from 2.0 to over 5.5 inches. The higher amounts of rainfall were received in the center and western portions of the region. Corn and soybeans are growing well, but many cornfields continue to exhibit uneven growth. Some corn is beginning to tassel in the southern area of the region, but most areas are 1 to 2 weeks from full tassel.

Soybeans in rows 30 inches or wider have yet to fully close rows, and some are becoming reinfested with weeds even where a postemergence herbicide was applied last month.

Japanese beetles are abundant on ornamentals and in some soybean fields, and there is grower concern about potential silk clipping over the next several weeks. Extension educators have not observed any soybean aphids in their weekly scouting of soybean rust sentinel plots.

Second cutting of alfalfa is occurring; Russ Higgins, IPM extension educator, reports potato leafhopper infestations in the southeast area of the region.

Wheat harvest should begin shortly.

West-Central Illinois

Wheat harvest is starting to wrap up for 2008. The harvest numbers have of course varied from field to field, with yields noted from 40 to 90 bushels. However, most areas seem to report an average in the 50- to 60-bushel range.

Planting of double-crop beans is underway, along with another attempt at beans in those areas that were flooded yet again. Soybeans planted in May have just started to close canopy, which is putting producers under a little time pressure to get their final herbicide applications in. The May-planted portion of the crop seems to range from about R1 to R3.

Corn looks fairly clean from a disease standpoint as of mid-July. Most observations have been restricted to occasional sightings of rust, but some gray leaf spot is beginning to appear. Fungicide applications have begun once again. The corn crop is tasseling and silking in many areas (with some areas plagued by exceptional variability), and naturally the crop has faced the onslaught of a few silk clipping pests. Most phone inquiries to local Extension offices have been related to Japanese beetle pressure, but western corn rootworm adults are appearing as well. Pressure from Japanese beetles continues to move into the central part of the region from areas infested to the east. A northward advance by the pest has begun to create issues in the southwestern part of this territory as well.

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