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.
Corn planting is estimated at nearly 90% complete. Wind damage and some hail damage occurred on May 11 and 12 throughout the region, but most corn easily recovered. Overall corn emergence has been good, but warmer temperatures are needed to produce a healthy plant-color appearance. Precipitation on May 19 ranged from 0.2 inch to 1.5 inches through the central part of the region. Fieldwork is occurring in some areas on May 19, while others will be kept out of the field for several days or more. Soybean planting progress may be approaching 50% throughout the region.
As mentioned in earlier issues, since early April extension personnel and volunteer cooperators have been monitoring 25 black cutworm moth traps. To date there have been very few moth catches, and only one intense capture has been reported over the past 6 weeks.
Gary Bretthauer, extension educator, reports alfalfa weevil larvae activity in Kendall County. Also, Jim Morrison, extension educator, observed damage in several Winnebago County fields. Alfalfa weevil larvae damage in all fields was well below threshold levels.
Fieldwork was finally resumed on a limited basis late last week and still continues on a field-by-field basis. Planting is occurring in some areas, while at the same time other fields are too wet for wheel traffic.
Head scab is beginning to appear in wheat fields, but it is still too early to tell what the extent of infection will be.
First cutting of alfalfa is finally getting under way, with producers having to weigh the priority of cutting hay late versus planting corn late. Early-planted corn looks good, with no major problems reported.
Ron Hines, at Dixon Springs, continues to report intense captures of black cutworm moths as well as heavy catches of European corn borer moths. The earliest-planted non-Bt corn will need to be scouted in the next couple of weeks for ECB, while corn going into the ground now will need to be monitored for black cutworms.
Despite wet soil conditions in many areas, good progress was made in the field by many producers within the past week. Local estimates indicate that corn planting is nearly complete, with only localized reports of replants being made. In some areas, soybean planting is completed, while in other areas it has just begun. Emerged soybeans look good and stands seem adequate in most places. Most alfalfa is in the bud stage, and harvest has begun on a limited basis.
Although the extent is minor, reports of insect feeding are filtering in, with the most widely reported incidences being attributed to wireworms and black cutworms. Alfalfa weevil feeding has become more evident within the last 2 weeks, but we have received few reports of treatments being applied.