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Issue No. 3/April 22, 2011

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Found in Illinois
The brown marmorated stink bug, which can be confused with several others, is an invasive insect that damages many ornamental plants and agricultural crops. Photos to assist with identification are provided, but anyone with a suspect insect is encouraged to send it in for confirmation.

One Step Closer to a Seed- Blend Norm Across the Corn Belt
Recent EPA product approvals will profoundly affect the management of insect pests in the Midwest. New seed blends provide "refuge in a bag" compliance with requirements for Bt hybrids.

Intense Captures of Black Cutworm Moths Reported in Several Locations
Even fields planted to certain Bt hybrids may be susceptible to black cutworm damage if there is a heavy infestation. Fields with flourishing winter annual weed populations are most at risk.

Neglecting Wireworm Scouting Could Be a Mistake
Large infestations of wireworms have been found in two separate southern Illinois fields. Prolonged wet soil conditions and cool temperatures enhance prospects for greater damage to cornfields.

Purple Fields
Henbit and purple deadnettle are turning many Illinois fields purple as they flower. Details are provided for distinguishing the two species and controlling them before corn or soybean planting.

Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Illinois: A Cause for Concern
The frequency, affected acres, and number of species of weeds in Illinois resistant to one or more herbicide site-of-action families continue to increase. Farmers thinking that they need not be concerned until the problem hits their fields should take heed.

Managing Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) of Wheat
Successful management of Fusarium head blight (scab) of wheat, which can cause both yield and quality losses, requires an integrated approach that begins even before planting.

Tillage: Think Seedbed and Rooting Zone
The large amount of tillage done last fall and the good soil conditions even where no fall tillage was done raise questions of how much tillage is needed this spring. Considerations for making that decision are detailed.

Corn Planting: Optimism on Hold
Though yield losses can increase if corn planting is delayed into May, they should not be compounded by planting in poor conditions before the soil is ready.