Several extension educators across northern Illinois have black cutworm traps in place. On March 21, 2000, Dave Feltes, IPM educator, picked up a lone cutworm moth in his trap north of Morrison.
Corn flea beetle activity is a concern for corn growers following a mild winter. If the sum of the average temperature for December, January, and February is 90°F or above, the overwintering success of the corn flea beetle is greatly increased. The sum of average temperatures this year for December, January, and February at Freeport is 83°F.
Spring field-work activity is moving ahead quickly, and many are getting itchy to put some corn in the ground, and probably some have already planted a few acres.
Upcoming field diagnostic workshops at the Crop Training Center, located at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center near Shabbona, Illinois, are May 25, July 20, and August 17, 2000. More details will follow.
· Preplant anhydrous ammonia application is completed.
· Corn planting began in earnest the last week of March with significant acres planted in some areas in Sangamon, Christian, and Morgan counties.
· Soil conditions are very dry in most areas. Farmers are limiting tillage operations to conserve what little moisture is there. Some are waiting for moisture before planting.
· Alfalfa weevil can be found, but the population is less than threshold level.
· Winter wheat is growing rapidly and is now in Feekes Growth Stage 4 to 6. Very little evidence of disease so far.
· Black cutworm moth catches have been reported.
· Some reports of seed corn orders not coming through. Some farmers waited to order seed because of GMO issues.
· White grub populations are high in some fields.
· Grass tetany has appeared in some cattle.