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.
Field activity started up again over the weekend focusing on tillage, anhydrous ammonia application, and herbicide application. Also some producers were seeding oats and alfalfa and applying dry fertilizer. Some corn has been planted.
Extension educators and volunteer cooperators are monitoring more than 20 black cutworm
moth traps scattered throughout the region. As of April 14, most trap monitors have yet to catch their first black cutworm moth.
With the return to drier conditions late last week, fieldwork rapidly resumed. Tillage, nitrogen applications, spraying, and planting are progressing at a rapid rate as farmers try to cover as much acreage as possible before the next series of storm fronts move through this week. The amount of fieldwork completed varies widely across the south, with some areas making major progress while other areas are just getting started.
We have received reports of some alfalfa fields being sprayed for control of alfalfa weevil, as well as reports of fields being harvested early, either due to weevils or the desire to make high-quality hay before starting on corn planting.
Wheat is in the jointing stage and progressing rapidly because of excellent growing conditions.
Ron Hines at Dixon Springs reported his first trap capture of a true armyworm moth but had no intense captures of black cutworm moths this week. Expect this situation to change as intense storm fronts move through.
The SIUC Belleville Research Center held its annual fall-applied herbicide tour last week. Many herbicide combinations worked well, with some interesting differences across weed species and application timings. With this year's winter and spring temperatures being more "normal" than in the past couple of years, the data should prove useful for those considering fall applications.
Fieldwork in most parts of the region resumed last Friday and Saturday and has been uninterrupted for five days. As of this past Wednesday, ideal soil conditions are being reported across the region, but rain is expected for most of the latter part of the week. The status of corn planting varies somewhat across the region and ranges from 25% complete in the northwest and west to nearly two-thirds complete in the southeast.
Intense captures of black cutworm moths have been reported near Camp Point in Adams County within the past week. To the north, around Macomb and Carthage, numbers of moths observed in traps have increased (average of two to three per day), but no intense captures have been reported as of Wednesday morning.
Wheat looks very good in most areas and has put on substantial growth within the past week. To date, we have not received many reports of disease problems in the field.
Alfalfa is 3 to 6 inches in height in many fields and is progressing well. In most of the region, enough GDDs have been accumulated to initiate alfalfa weevil hatch, so producers are being encouraged to begin scouting soon.