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.
Most of the area has received enough rain to alleviate moisture stress. However, the rain was not uniformly distributed, and there are many pockets that are still suffering. In these areas, spider mites and aphids are still very active.
High populations of leafhoppers are still being reported in alfalfa, with treatment required in most cases. I have had several calls wanting to know the proper size for a sweep net and where they can be purchased. The proper size is 15 inches. They can be purchased from Gempler's (800-382-8473) and Great Lakes IPM (517-268-5693). A more complete list of suppliers can be found in the Field Crop Scouting Manual.
Most of the region has experienced dry and hot, humid conditions during the past week.
The topic of the week has been the increasing soybean aphid populations; however, very few soybean plant symptoms have been observed or reported. Growers and industry personnel are ready to apply insecticide treatments for aphids, but to date, only a few fields have been treated. High aphid populations was the reason given for treating these fields, which is interesting because "high populations" has not been defined. Growers are cautioned to assess each field individually for aphid populations, presence of beneficial insects, and plant symptoms. Limited spraying of soybean field margins for spider mites has occurred in parts of the northwestern region and other dry areas.
Charlie Frank, G & J Fertilizer, McNabb, reported several instances of early symptoms of soybean sudden death syndrome in Putnam County. These areas have been receiving adequate moisture throughout the growing season.
Remember the Field Day at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Shabbona, on Wednesday, August 8. The first tour leaves at 4 p.m.
The weather report is much like last week: hot and becoming more dry. Crops are under weather stress, but it certainly could be worse.
Early corn is now dented and continuing to mature. Corn harvest will begin late this month. Some locations, but not all, will have very good corn.
Soybean sudden death syndrome has appeared in early-planted fields. The next few weeks will reveal the level of infestation and potential for yield loss.
Southwestern corn borer moth trap catches have declined at most locations.
Hot and humid weather continued during the week; rain will be needed very soon to avoid crop stress. Some parts of the region are described as "really dry," and one farmer reported having to start feeding hay to his cattle because of poor growth in his pasture.
Crop conditions still look good in most areas. Corn is developing rapidly, with many fields in milk to dent stages. No major pest problems have been reported; however, some leaf diseases are becoming noticeable.
Many soybean fields are in R4R5 stages. Some of the problems reported include bean leaf beetle, grasshoppers, SDS, spider mites, and "yellow flashing" from a late herbicide application. If hot, dry weather conditions continue, spider mites may become a major problem in some fields.
Potato leafhoppers continue to be a major threat to alfalfa producers.