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How Late Can We Plant Corn and Soybeans?

  • June 11, 2013

The latest report from NASS indicates that 96 percent of the corn and 62 percent of the soybean crop in Illinois had been planted as of June 9. Some of the corn is struggling, however, with 13 percent of the crop rated as poor or very poor. Much of this is due to heavy rainfall, which has caused problems with stands, including areas in fields where the crop has drowned out from standing water. In other cases,…

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Nitrogen and the 2013 Corn Crop

  • May 31, 2013

The NASS report indicated that corn planting in Illinois was 89% complete by May 26. This leaves more left to plant than we’d like, and it’s still wet in some areas, so we expect a long “tail” to corn planting this year, unless some of the acres intended to corn get switched to soybeans.
The rainfall that delayed planting across Illinois this year is also affecting nitrogen fertilizer management. For many, the rush to get the crop planted meant abandoning or modifying plans to apply N before or after planting or before tillage.…

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2013 Field Day Events in Illinois

  • May 14, 2013

It’s been a difficult planting season in Illinois, but crops will eventually be growing this year, and we’ll find both expected and unexpected challenges as we move into the cropping season. Fields days organized by Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and other institutions will focus on crops and pests, with speakers talking about current crop issues along with information from previous research. Each event will offer CEUs for CCAs.
Following is the schedule of crop-related 2013 field days organized by University of Illinois Crop Sciences and by several other institutions.…

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Getting Soybeans Planted

  • May 2, 2013

With corn planting off to a very slow start this year, few people have been worrying about getting soybeans planted. Though we’ve been saying in recent years that early planting of soybean helps increase yield potential, corn typically loses yield faster than soybean as planting is delayed. So it is appropriate to plant corn first, before soybean.
How early is “early” when it comes to soybean planting? Based on planting date responses we have seen in recent years,…

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Planting Delays and Corn Prospects

  • April 24, 2013

April 2013 has turned into a “second March”, with wet weather and cool temperatures persisting into the last week of the month, and corn planting progress stuck at 1 percent, with little chance of much additional progress before the calendar turns to May. Nationally, only 4 percent of the corn crop was planted by April 21, and none of the Corn Belt states had more than 1 percent planted. The corn that has been planted is struggling mightily to survive the soil conditions and to emerge.…

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Corn Planting Time in a “Normal” Spring

  • April 10, 2013

Yes, a year does make a lot of difference – in 2012, we had 5 percent of the Illinois corn crop planted by April 1 and 17 percent planted by April 9. This year, the April 8 issue of Illinois Weather & Crops from the Illinois office of NASS gives no percentage planted as of April 7, which means that less than 1 percent had been planted. There has been some planting this week,…

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Spring Soil Nitrogen Following the Drought of 2012

  • April 2, 2013

Last fall, with funding provided through the Illinois Council for Best Management Practices (C-BMP), GROWMARK, C-BMP, and the University of Illinois initiated the N-Watch soil sampling program to see how much inorganic N remained in the soil following the drought of 2012.
Fall sampling revealed fairly high amounts of soil N, with 151 samples statewide averaging 19.5 ppm of nitrate-N in the top foot of soil. We multiply this time 4 to get lb of N per acre,…

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