No. 1 Article 1/March 16, 2005

What Lies in Store for Us in 2005?

For many reasons, 2005 should be an interesting year in the annals of pest management. The portent for soybean rust has captured the attention of virtually everyone involved with agriculture in soybean-growing areas of North America, and plans to look for it, confirm its presence in soybean fields, report it to everyone within the U.S. government, and "attack" it already are in place. From an entomological perspective, management issues associated with western corn rootworms and concern about an outbreak of soybean aphids also have garnered considerable attention. And in the weed-control arena, continuing concerns about the development of resistance to glyphosate keep weed scientists alert to reports of glyphosate performance problems. Toss in the other pathogens, insects, and weeds that can threaten corn and soybean yields; add a pinch of the current reports/rumors of corn already being planted; and we have the recipe for an intriguing pest management stew this year.

Extension specialists in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and University of Illinois Extension educators are well aware of the types of pest management issues that could develop in 2005. Although we have always recognized the importance of timely reporting of developing pest situations and crop conditions, our sense for timely reporting may be even more acute this year. We also recognize that objectivity and accuracy in our reporting are of utmost importance. Therefore, we will strive to provide timely, objective, and accurate reports, as well as the occasional commentary or editorial, in the pages (electronic or otherwise) of the Bulletin throughout 2005. We sincerely hope that you refer to the pages of the Bulletin as a primary source for "pest management and crop development information for Illinois" (the Bulletin's tag line).

I have stated repeatedly in this annual "new year" article how valuable your reports are for us. I state this again and emphasize that your accurate reporting in 2005 may be more vital than ever before. With so many potential nerve-wracking pest problems this year, nonconfirmed reports and "crying wolf" could result in an exploitation of pest-control practices the likes of which we have not experienced in years. (As you may have heard me say during presentations at educational meetings this winter, the advances we have made through IPM may be seriously challenged in 2005.) Therefore, you play a critical role in helping to preserve some good sense in making pest management decisions in 2005. The eyes of the world will be focused on the way in which we respond to pest threats this year, so we should respect our role as leaders of crop production and the practice of pest management, and act accordingly. I thank you in advance for all of the invaluable input you will provide throughout the forthcoming growing season.

I remind readers that you can subscribe to receive e-mail notification of the availability of the most recent issue of the Bulletin on the Web, which usually occurs on Thursday afternoons. The "subscription" is free, and completing the subscription form takes only a couple of minutes. The e-mail notification provides thumbnail summaries of each article published in the most current issue.

On behalf of all of the authors who contribute to the Bulletin, I thank you for your continued support of our efforts and your interest in the information we provide. I also invite you to offer suggestions about ways of improving the Bulletin--in delivery, appearance, navigability, features, or you name it. As users of our information, you have considerable say in the manner in which we present our information. Your input is invaluable. Now, here's to a terrific 2005 growing season.--Kevin Steffey

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