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Issue No. 3/April 23, 2010

Secondary Corn Insects: How Significant Is the Threat?
Though most cornfields probably do not support economic infestations of secondary insects, the use of nicotinic insecticidal seed treatments is widespread across the Corn Belt. Will there be unintended consequences?

Don't Forget to Examine Alfalfa Stands for Weevil Activity
In the haste to plant corn, don't neglect to scout for alfalfa weevils. Some light leaf feeding is probably already underway in many southern Illinois fields.

Black Cutworm Moths Have Arrived, Including Northern Illinois Counties
With the record warm weather in April, we shouldn't be too surprised by the recent captures of black cutworm moths in pheromone traps.

Controlling Weeds Before Planting
Warm temperatures coupled with adequate soil moisture have accelerated the growth of existing weeds. It is advisable to control all existing vegetation before planting your 2010 crop.

Improving Performance of Soil-Residual Herbicides
Many farmers are again using soil-applied herbicides. Guidelines for maximizing their effectiveness are detailed.

Fungicide Applications to Corn at Early Growth Stages
Some companies are promoting the application of foliar fungicides to corn at early growth stages. The likely efficacy of this timing is discussed.

Should I Start Planting Soybeans in April?
Timely soybean planting typically means planting in late April or early May, but the timing has to be coupled with good planting conditions and a favorable weather forecast for maximum yields to be achieved.

Are These Products the Real Deal?
The benefits--or, more likely, the absence of benefits--of so-called soil activators, wetting agents/surfactants, and soil conditioners, including gypsum, are considered.

Regional Reports
Reports are provided this issue for east-central, northern, southern, and west-central Illinois.