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 corn-planting situation changed rapidly this week, from only a few planters in the field on Friday morning to widespread activity over the weekend and throughout the beginning of the week. The unseasonably warm temperatures caused soil temperatures to rise dramatically. Morning 4-inch bare soil temperatures have risen to near 60°F.
Over the last month, this area has received less than half the normal amount of precipitation. Dry surface soil conditions have prevailed. Despite showers and storms that moved through, planting continued.
The warm temperatures have also stimulated weed emergence. Fields are "greening up" rapidly. The weed development has coincided with the arrival of black cutworm moths. Doug Gucker, Piatt County Extension Office, reported his first moth capture and his first intense flight on the same day.
Field activity became more frequent around April 3, but the scattered showers on April 5 to 6 and Monday morning put fieldwork on hold.
Jim Morrison, crop systems Extension educator, reported catching several black cutworm moths in Winnebago County on April 10. However, this is not considered an intense moth capture.
Rainfall and the warm weekend temperatures contributed to further wheat and alfalfa growth.
Unseasonably warm weather has brought numerous changes over the past week. Temperatures have been 10 to 15 degrees above normal.
Some sands and a few other areas have been planted, but with 80°F afternoon temperatures, everyone has been thinking corn planting.
A significant amount of tillage has been done in areas where soil moisture has permitted. Many areas remain just a little too wet. Winter annual weeds have jumped in growth, and henbit is in full bloom.
Most wheat is first node and rapidly moving to GS7. Nitrogen and garlic control applications are nearing completion. Some wheat variability still exists; however, overall wheat condition is good.
Common armyworm and black cutworm moths are flying. Alfalfa weevil larvae have hatched and begun pinholing.
Corn planting progressed rapidly until heavy rains set in earlier this week. Planting conditions were ideal, with germination occurring very rapidly. The wait begins to see what problems, if any, develop after planting. Anhydrous ammonia prices are decreasing from a high of well over $400 per ton.
Some polymer-coated soybeans have been planted in the Springfield area.
Alfalfa weevil activity has been observed in some fields in Menard County. Significant stand reductions from winter heaving have occurred in some fields.
Winter annuals are growing rapidly because of warm, moist soil conditions.
Wheat growth has accelerated and most fields look good.