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 focused on spring tillage, anhydrous ammonia application, herbicide application, and corn planting. Rainfall on April 19 ranged from 0.2 to 1.6 inches, with higher precipitation from Moline to Freeport.
Corn planting prior to April 19 was not widespread throughout the region because of some concerns over cold soil temperatures and/or dry soil conditions. However, planting activity increased this week after fields dried from the weekend rainfall.
Some localized fieldwork is again starting up after last weekend's rainfall. Precipitation across the south varied from 1 to 3 inches. In some areas, 30% or more of the corn is in the ground but still waiting for warmer temperatures to help it emerge. Despite passage of the recent storm front, Ron Hines at Dixon Springs did not report any intense captures of black cutworm moths during the past week.
Both wheat and alfalfa are growing rapidly, with the cool conditions favoring the wheat crop. So far, we have received no reports of major disease problems with either crop. Alfalfa producers should remain vigilant for alfalfa weevil infestations. If weevils reach threshold levels, it will soon become a management decision to either spray or take an early harvest and then monitor the regrowth for further feeding damage.
A slow-moving cold front brought cool weather and rain to most of the region late last week, which resulted in little fieldwork being completed. Cumulative rainfall varied from a few tenths to nearly 2 inches, with less received in the north than in the south. In some areas, producers were able to resume fieldwork on Tuesday, and some reports that planting had resumed in the northeast part of the region have been received.
Corn that was planted the first and second weeks of April is just beginning to emerge, but it is too early to speculate as to the condition of stand. Intense captures of black cutworm moths were reported in Adams, McDonough, and Sangamon counties within the past week, and educators will be tracking GDUs to predict the onset of feeding.
Wheat looks good in most areas and has put on substantial growth within the past week. On some sandier soils, the crop is well into the jointing stage.