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.
Moth mania is slowing down. A wave of calls moved northward across the region over the last 2 weeks as armyworm moth flights peaked. Mixed in with the armyworms in varying amounts were black cutworms, corn earworms, and variegated cutworm moths. We received the first reports of Japanese beetle activity this week from Vermilion County. First- and second-instar European corn borer larvae can be found in cornfields but, so far, only on a few scattered plants.
Corn growth rate has increased substantially due to the warmer temperatures, and corn plants are exhibiting a darker green color. Soybean postemergence herbicide applications and some cultivating of corn have been the major activities during the past week.
Potato leafhopper populations need to be monitored in alfalfa to prevent unnecessary injury. Extension educators Jim Morrison and Dave Feltes reported finding potato leafhoppers last week at the Stephenson County alfalfa plots. Only a few plots had economic infestations at that time, but leafhopper populations can build up rapidly.
Warm temperatures allowed a rapid accumulation of heat units. Cornfields added three leaves in the past week, and early corn is quickly approaching VT. Early-planted soybeans have already reached R1. There have been some spotty rains, but most fields are again short on topsoil moisture.
Wheat harvest has gone from start to nearly done in the last week. Yields are somewhat variable, but often better than average. Test weights have been good. A majority of the stubble fields are already doublecropped to soybeans.
One-spotted stinkbugs have been found damaging some cornfields. Southwestern corn borer moth flights have declined in far southern Illinois but remain high in Franklin County. Limited ECB has been observed in early corn. Small grasshoppers are numerous.
Warm and dry weather has continued in the region, but with the recent abundance of rainfall, corn and soybean do not yet show any major heat or drought stress.
Corn is growing rapidly and taking on a good dark green color. Some March-planted fields are reported to be in the tasseling stage (VT). Postemergence herbicide applications are being completed. Very few insect problems have been observed during the past week.
Soybean development is also progressing rapidly, with some fields in V3 to V5 stage. Roundup and other postemergence herbicides are being applied. Some cultivation is being done also. Various seedling diseases are showing up as a result of recent wet soils. Planting is being completed in the extreme southern areas of the region.
Wheat harvest has begun with average yields reported. Seed quality is good since there wasn't much disease. Conditions are ideal for early doublecropping.
Second-cutting alfalfa is being harvested. Farmers are reporting good quality with few insect problems at this time.
Since most fieldwork has been completed, some farmers are mowing ditches and roadsides.