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Regional Reports

May 18, 2001
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.

East-Central Illinois

Soybean planting is wrapping up rapidly. Warm temperatures are contributing to quick emergence. However, dry conditions are slowing development in some areas.

Dry surface soil conditions have caused some cases of "floppy corn syndrome."

As farmers have focused on planting, a few were surprised when they shifted attention to alfalfa and discovered stands that had been severely damaged by alfalfa weevils.

Northern Illinois

Several counties in the northwest corner of the state are trying to finish planting corn and soybeans and have had limited success the past 2 weeks due to wet conditions. The remainder of northern Illinois is in good shape, with corn planting for all purposes complete and soybeans not far behind. Generally, corn emergence has been uniform.

Intense captures of black cutworm moths were recorded late last week at Freeport and Dixon. Dave Feltes, IPM Extension educator, observed fourth-instar black cutworm larvae feeding on corn seedlings in south-central Lee County on May 10.

The frequency of alfalfa weevil larvae economic damage has increased from last week. Some producers will have to decide now whether to harvest or apply an insecticide. Also, potato leafhoppers have arrived and have been observed in numerous alfalfa fields. Leafhopper populations are low at present but will increase over time.

Jim Morrison, crop systems Extension educator, reports that by using the PEAQ (Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality) system in alfalfa fields near Freeport, high-quality alfalfa, RFV >150, should be harvested at this time.

Southern Illinois

It is still dry in southern Illinois, and now it is hot as well. Scattered isolated showers have helped some areas but have passed over most of the region. Later-planted corn and soybeans have resulted in poor stands due to deficient moisture.

True armyworms have been the hot topic of the week. Grass pastures and hay fields have been defoliated. A portion of the wheat acreage is near or at economic threshold levels. Cornfields are being monitored closely. Infestations are widespread and consistent. Adult alfalfa weevils are damaging alfalfa regrowth.

Wheat has completed flowering and will be attempting grain fill with very limited soil moisture. Red clover hay is being harvested.

West-Central Illinois

Scattered rain went through the area earlier this week. Amounts reported ranged from a trace to more than 2 inches. The northern part of the region received the rain, while the southern part received very little.

In general, corn is growing well; however, some problems have been reported. Dry soil conditions are slowing growth in some areas and causing soil-applied herbicide failures. Post-emergence herbicides are now being applied. Purple corn is also evident in some areas. Insect pests reported include cutworn, white grub, wireworm, armyworm, and grape colaspis.

Soybean planting is almost complete, and many fields have emerged. Dry soils will delay the emergence of some fields. Bean leaf beetle can be found in many fields.

Wheat fields are advancing rapidly because of the warm weather. There are no reported diseases, but armyworm has become a major problem in some areas. Many fields are being treated for armyworm control.

A few cases of herbicide drift have been reported.

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

Subscription information: Phone (217) 244-5166 or email
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