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No. 13/June 21, 2002

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Mark Your Calendars Now for the 2002 Agronomy Field Days
Each summer, the Department of Crop Sciences sponsors several field days at multiple locations throughout Illinois. These events offer a great opportunity for members of the agricultural community to interact with scientists who are conducting research at these sites. Topics at each location focus on important crop production and protection issues facing farmers.

European Corn Borer Update
We've had several articles in the Bulletin concerning the importance of scouting for European corn borer first-generation injury. Hopefully the advice has been heeded by many folks in the southern one-third of the state. Folks in central and northern Illinois also should begin to dust off their corn borer scouting skills and examine fields for whorl-feeding injury.

Caterpillars in Corn Whorls
During June, many people focus on looking for whorl-feeding injury while scouting cornfields for first-generation European corn borer. As you scout, keep in mind that several species of caterpillars can be found feeding in corn whorls, including armyworm, corn earworm, fall armyworm, stalk borer, and yellowstriped armyworm. This article provides imformation to help you distinguish among these species.

Stalk Borer Management: Role of Bt Corn
Will Bt hybrids prevent stalk borer damage? This article discusses a paper published by two Iowa State entomologists that took a very close look at this question.

Scientists Report on the Efficacy of a Binary Insecticidal Crystal Bt Protein for Corn Rootworms
Scientists with Dow AgroSciences have reported on the insecticidal effects of binary crystal proteins in laboratory bioassays against southern corn rootworm larvae. The investigators report in the paper that both of the proteins examined "effectively control" western corn rootworm grubs in the field.

Additional tests on these proteins and others will surely follow, and the results will be of great interest to the agricultural community for many years to come.

Japanese Beetles Have Begun to Emerge in Southern Indiana
Entomologists at Purdue University reported the first sighting of Japanese beetle adults on June 12 in the Evansville area (near White County in Illinois). Take note of this occurrence because, based on reports of grub injury this year, we could witness some large numbers of this pest this year.

The Search for Soybean Aphids in Soybean Fields Begins
We haven't said much about soybean aphids this spring because there hasn't been much to report. However, with the first findings of soybean aphids in soybean fields in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, it's time to start watching more closely.

As we have stated previously, we really don't know whether soybean aphids will reach economic levels in 2002. However, the lateness of planting of soybeans this year might have an impact on soybean aphids this year; later-planted soybeans are more likely to suffer economic damage caused by soybean aphids.

Don't Forget About Potato Leafhoppers
People who are scouting in alfalfa fields need to focus on this very important pest in June and July. Although the previous cool, wet weather probably kept leafhopper numbers from increasing, the more recent warm weather will accelerate their development. This article provides information that should help you scout for and potentially manage potato leafhoppers in alfalfa, including a description of the pest, its life history, the injury it causes, tips for scouting, thresholds, and insecticides that can be used.

National Pest Alert: West Nile Virus
Many of you undoubtedly have heard or read reports about West Nile encephalitis, a mosquito-transmitted disease first reported in North America in 1999. This article provides a link to a Web site for the most current and scientifically accurate information.

Odd Plant Diseases Due to Odd Season
This article examines head scab of winter wheat, crazy top, and common smut.

Basic Information About Soybean Rust
Recently, concerns have been expressed and questions asked about soybean rust. The first important point to know is that soybean rust has not been found in the United States, except in Hawaii.

The purpose of this article is to provide some basic information about soybean rust and to answer the question "What is soybean rust?"

Corn and Soybean After a Tough Planting Season
Corn and soybean planting is finally coming to an end for 2002, except of course for double-cropped soybean. And, in areas where excessive rainfall during the past two weeks has resulted in drowned crops in lower parts of fields or in bottomland, some producers are still hoping to plant soybean. A few still may be hoping to plant corn, but yield prospects for corn now are low enough that another crop should be planted if that is feasible.

Wheat harvest is just beginning in southern Illinois. The crop there headed at the normal time, and the fact that it was filling grain up to the time it reached maturity recently is a good sign for yield, though there may be grain quality questions in many areas.

Regional Reports
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.

This week's issue includes reports from northern, southern, and west-central Illinois.

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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