Regional Reports

April 14, 2000
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 form the East Southeast district)

We hope these reports will provide additional benefits for staying current as the season progresses.

West-Central Illinois

· Significant corn planting has taken place. Planted corn acres range from 20% to as much as 50% in some areas.

· Some reports of wheat diseases.

· As wheat approaches the jointing stage herbicide applications for henbit and other winter annual weeds, are slowing down.

· Reports of wireworm activity in bait stations.

· Reports of numerous white grubs being turned up during tillage operations.

· Cool temperatures have slowed alfalfa development. Average alfalfa height is 5 to 7 inches.

Northern Illinois

· No cutworm moths were captured this past week.

· Spring fieldwork continued to move ahead until the snows of April 7 (approximately 3 inches) and April 10 (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches).

· Established alfalfa and fall seeded winter wheat survived the winter in good shape.

· No alfalfa weevil damage observed in field visits this past week.

· Some corn and soybeans are planted, but acreage is not large. One advantage to early planting is that there is plenty of time available for replanting if necessary.

· Moisture from snow and light showers will help spring-seeded oats and alfalfa, but overall, conditions remain dry.

Southern Illinois

Wheat: Crop at development stage 7­8 on the Feekes scale. Crop progressing well with little disease pressure.

Field crops: Fertilizer application and primary tillage well under way. Planting just starting with some preemergence spraying.

Alfalfa: Growing well, 6­10 inches tall. Alfalfa weevil present in most fields at low to moderate levels.

Weeds: In Dixon Springs, giant ragweed and common lambsquarters 2­3 inches tall.

East-Central Illinois

The big question has been whether to plant corn or wait. In some areas the answer has been PLANT! Along some country roads, cornfields appear to be about 50% planted. In other areas very little actual planting has occurred. In many of these areas, all the prep work has been done, but the planters are waiting for some sunshine and heat. Once these areas decide to "go," planting will progress rapidly.

Digging in one field that has been planted for 2 weeks produced seeds with root tips barely breaking out of the seed.

Where western corn rootworm is a problem on first-year corn, some farmers are waiting to plant because of insecticide concerns. Will insecticides applied now still offer protection in June when western corn rootworm larval damage may occur? This concern is warranted. Factors such as the application rate, soil moisture, temperature, and the length of time will determine the level of protection provided.

There have been some concerns with the large amounts of winter and early-spring annual weeds present this year. This was covered well in last week's article "A Sea of Purple."