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.
Scattered thunderstorms occurred throughout the region from July 5 through July 8. The precipitation was most welcome, but strong winds with the storms caused some crop damage as well as downed trees in Winnebago County on July 5 and Whiteside County on July 8. Also, isolated crop hail damage has been reported in Grundy and Whiteside counties. Total precipitation from July 5 through the morning of July 8 varies. However, both the U of I Research Farm in Dekalb County and a Morrison location (Whiteside County) reported more than 2 inches of total accumulation.
Corn growth was rapid last week because of the high temperatures and soil moisture. Potassium-deficient symptoms in corn have been reported throughout the region.
Jim Morrison, Extension educator, reports alfalfa fields being treated for potato leafhopper (PLH) infestations. PLH populations vary from field to field.
Hot and dry has replaced the previous cool and wet conditions. Crops are not yet exhibiting signs of moisture stress, but the limited root development of late-planted corn and soybean will potentially lead to problems later on unless timely rainfalls occur.
Early-planted corn is well into pollination, while late-planted corn is reaching knee high. We have received reports of Japanese beetles causing silk clipping in some fields. Corn pollinating now should be closely monitored for this pest. Ron Hines at Dixon Springs reports captures of second-generation European corn borer moths. Unfortunately, there will be plenty of late-planted corn for them to lay eggs into.
Most field activities now revolve around postemergence herbicide applications on soybeans and late-planted corn.
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the Brownstown Agricultural Research Center Field Day on Thursday, July 24, 9:00 a.m. There will be seven tour stops covering pest management, soybean management, nitrogen management, and crop marketing. Come early, because the last tour will depart at 9:30 a.m. in order to beat the heat. A free lunch will be served following the tour.
Strong storms rolled through the region on Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday morning, while as much as 3.5 inches of rainfall was received in northern parts of the region. In Macomb, we received 2.5 inches as of Wednesday morning, with strong thunderstorms in the forecast. However, many areas to the south received only trace amounts of precipitation. Soil moisture is low in many areas and rainfall would be welcome.
Corn planted in mid-April is now tasseling, with some corn beginning to pollinate. Large numbers of rootworm beetles have been observed in some fields, so producers are being encouraged to monitor their crops for silk clipping. As of earlier this week, fourth-instar European corn borer larvae were found in a number of fields, with most infestation levels reported to be around 10% to 20%. A number of reports of stalk borer feeding along the edges of cornfields have also been received. Grape colaspis beetles can now be found in many fields in high numbers, serving as an indication of the large numbers of larvae that must have been present earlier this spring.
Soybeans planted in late April and early May have begun to bloom within the past week. Other than some scattered reports of spider mite infestations along field borders, few pest problems have been reported in soybeans.
Wheat harvest is about 80% complete. Reported yields range from 60 to 100 bushels, with most of the crop doing somewhat better than anticipated.
Oat harvest is anticipated to go into full swing within the next few days.