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No. 05/April 24, 2003

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Cutworms Continue Their Move Across Illinois
Black cutworm moths are being found in pheromone traps more frequently across the state. First dates of larval cutting activity are predicted in this article based on the dates of intense captures. These dates suggest when cutting may begin to occur and should be used as a guideline for scouting cornfields. Instructions are provided for scouting for cutworms and for estimating how much longer larvae will feed if they are found.

Few Reports of Alfalfa Weevils
Though most reports indicate very few alfalfa weevils in fields, the watch for them should continue. Southern Illinois has already reached the degree-day benchmark.

Corn Flea Beetle Spotting
Though corn flea beetle activity is expected to be low in Illinois, one report of 8 to 10 flea beetles per seedling corn plant on 2-leaf-stage corn has been received from Franklin County. Guidelines for scouting and treatment recommendations are provided.

Influence of Agricultural Practices on Earthworm Populations
Facts presented by Purdue's Dr. Eileen Kladivko during the 2003 Crop Protection Technology Conference are summarized on how agricultural practices, including chemicals, influence earthworm populations.

Identifying Early-Season Weed Species
A pocket-size guide with color photographs of hard-to-identify early-season weed species common in Illinois is now available for purchase. Those species are described and shown here.

Burndown Considerations for 2003
Existing vegetation to be dealt with before planting is often denser than 10 years ago, and likely includes unfamiliar species. Guidelines are provided for using burndown herbicides prior to corn or soybean planting.

Temperature Effects on Burndown Herbicide Activity
When is the air temperature too cold to apply a burndown herbicide? A 2002 experiment was initiated to address this question. Overall, increases in temperature significantly enhanced weed control and reduced week biomass.

Watching Corn Emerge
At few times during the season is the question about the future potential of the corn crop as clearly drawn as it is at emergence: Low stands do not yield up to potential, and even complete stands that have uneven plant size early in the season will not produce maximum yields. Ideally, corn plants in a field will all emerge within about 48 to 72 hours. If something delays emergence, itís much better if the whole field or large parts of the field are delayed uniformly.

Scouting for Soybean Cyst Nematode
Over 80% of the soybean fields in Illinois are infested with SCN. It can reduce yields up to 30% without causing visible symptoms. How to sample.

Regional Reports
Reports are provided this issue for northern, southern, and west-central Illinois.

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

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