No one can say that the waning winter of 2002-2003 was a repeat of the previous winter. After a string of mild winters, the winter of 2002-2003 was more like what we expect of winters in the Midwest--plenty of snow and cold temperatures. As I write this article, winter is just beginning to lose its grip on us, so it's unlikely that fieldwork will begin right away. However, the tillage tools and planters will be in the fields soon enough, and shortly thereafter, the pest management and crop development fun begins!
As has been our tradition, the first issue of the Bulletin comes out in mid-March, just to get our juices flowing; then we give it a rest for a week, so we can build momentum. Starting with the next issue of the Bulletin (issue no. 2, April 4), we will publish weekly issues through mid-August, with a team of Extension specialists and educators writing articles to keep you informed of pest situations and crop development throughout the state. You'll read all of the familiar names--Gray, Hager, Hoeft, Malvick, Nafziger, Niblack, Sprague, Steffey--in bylines for the various articles. And you'll read some new names, too. Please allow me to introduce some new members of our team.
Kelly Cook, Extension IPM specialist in entomology, began working with the Extension entomology group in February 2003, after completing her M.S. degree with Dr. Rick Weinzierl, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois. Her research focused on corn flea beetles, Stewart's wilt, and sweet corn. Dawn Nordby, Extension IPM specialist in weed science, began working with the Extension weed science group in March 2003. Dawn recently earned her M.S. degree with Dr. Robert Hartzler, Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. Her research focused on the population dynamics of waterhemp in corn. Ron Estes became coordinator for the Insect Management and Insecticide Evaluation program in September 2002. Ron worked for 1-1/2 years with Drs. David Voegtlin (Illinois Natural History Survey) and David Onstad (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences), who led research on soybean aphids in Illinois. Although Ron probably won't contribute many articles, you'll read his name frequently in the Bulletin.When you get an opportunity, please introduce yourself to our new staff, and don't hesitate to contact them for information.
I won't belabor the next point--don't hesitate to contact us with reports from anywhere in Illinois or elsewhere. We greatly appreciate the reports, and we liberally use the information. Enough said. (And thanks very much in advance.)
On behalf of all of the authors who contribute to the Bulletin, I thank you for your continued support of our efforts and your interest in the information we provide. We look forward to working with you and providing the most current and useful information possible. Here's wishing you an enjoyable and profitable season.--Kevin Steffey