Winter has lasted long enough, and it's time for spring. And despite the 2 to 5 inches of snow predicted at the end of the week of March 12, most of us in agriculture are getting excited about the forthcoming planting season. Within a very short while, producers will be planting, and we'll all be watching as the crops come up and insects, weeds, plant diseases, and associated problems begin to make their presence known. That's when we'll bring to bear all we learned during the "off season" about producing crops and managing pests more efficiently in 2001.|
Several Extension specialists in the Department of Crop Sciences and Extension educators throughout the state will be writing articles for the Bulletin this year, and we all are prepared keep you informed about pest situations and crop development as the season unfolds. State specialists will provide information based on research trials, observations, and reports from all over the state, as well as from other sources in the Midwest. Extension educators will offer regional reports, keeping you apprised of more local developments in northern, west-central, east-central, and southern Illinois.
We are excited to announce that some new "players" will join us this year. Dr. Dean Malvick joined our department as an Extension plant pathologist in January 2001. Dean "hit the ground running" when he began giving presentations at the annual University of Illinois Corn & Soybean Classics, his first official day on the job! He and the rest of the plant pathology team will keep you informed about plant diseases and their management throughout the season. In addition, we anticipate adding a soybean cyst nematode specialist to our faculty some time this spring.
As the season unfolds, don't hesitate to send us reports about what you observe or learn when you scout fields, diagnose problems, and talk with others. We value your input. If you become aware of pest situations or crop conditions that would benefit others to know, give us a call or send an e-mail message so we can incorporate your observations into our articles and spread the word.
On behalf of all of the authors who contribute to the Bulletin, I thank you for your continued support of our efforts and your interest in the information we provide. We look forward to working with you and providing the most current, useful information possible.--Kevin Steffey