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 from the East Southeast district)
We hope these reports will provide additional benefits for staying current as the season progresses.
The primary field activity to this point has been nitrogen application, with general spring tillage now catching up. A very few fields have been planted with morning 4-inch soil temperatures still in the low 40s. The other major field activity has been burning residue around the ponded areas in fields.
Spring field activity has ranged from minimal (some dry fertilizer application, very little tillage work) to nonexistent, north of Route 30. However, 30 miles south of Route 30, anhydrous ammonia is being applied, preplant herbicides are going out, and a small amount of corn has been planted.
Wheat and alfalfa have only recently "greened" up and seem to have survived the winter quite well.
Several Extension educators have black cutworm moth traps scattered throughout the area. We will report any "intense" captures in northern Illinois in future Bulletins.
Most wheat has received nitrogen fertilizer applications and has begun erect growth, although cool, dry weather has delayed development somewhat. There are some varietal differences in response to late-winter growing conditions. There is some evidence of injury where the snow blew off the fields.
Farmers are preparing for the coming crop season, and some corn has been planted in river-bottom areas. It may be difficult to match or exceed the good corn and soybean yields recorded in many southern Illinois counties in 2000.
Vector Tobacco is contracting with growers for the production of a low-nicotine genetically modified tobacco in southern and southeastern Illinois. The crop will be closely monitored by the company and APHIS but will certainly add diversity to the agricultural landscape.
Dry soil conditions have allowed most of the anhydrous ammonia to be applied. Other tillage operations are taking place, also.
Some corn has been planted in the Springfield area.
Wireworms have been found in bait stations.
Winter annuals, such as shepherd's purse and chickweed, are rapidly growing in untilled fields.
Reports have been received of marginal stands in some wheat fields.