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Why are the Corn and Soybean Crops Drying So Slowly?

  • October 5, 2022

As corn approached maturity in early September, warm temperatures and forecasts for dry weather had us looking forward to an early start to harvest for the 2022 corn crop, and a slightly delayed but rapid movement towards getting soybeans harvested as well. Instead, both crops have languished, with corn only 63% mature and 13% harvested, and only 10% of the soybean crop harvested by October 2.
The first thing that comes to mind as an explanation for the slow drying is the cool weather in recent weeks.…

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Considerations as the 2022 Soybean Crop Approaches Maturity

  • September 8, 2022

Planting of the 2022 Illinois soybean crop began a little later than normal, and ended ahead of normal (Figure 1). Although summer temperatures were a little higher than normal, the onset and pace of flowering (“blooming”) and podsetting lagged behind what we would have expected based on planting progress. This is unusual Given that there was unusually cool weather in July. The most likely explanation is that the dry weather held back both vegetative and reproductive development to some extent.…

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Considerations as the 2022 Corn Crop Approaches Maturity

  • September 1, 2022

The 2022 Illinois corn crop was planted about two weeks later than normal, but slightly above-normal temperatures this summer have helped move crop development along (Figure 1); the crop is only a few days behind normal as it reaches late grainfilling stages and maturity. With the forecast for warm weather to continue into September, we can expect the majority of the crop to reach maturity by mid-September.
One helpful tool to help track development and maturity in corn is the corn GDD tool located at…

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Assessing potential of the 2022 corn crop

  • July 26, 2022

Nearly all of Illinois received below-normal rainfall in June, with the lowest amounts found in east central Illinois. In contrast, most of the state has received above-normal rainfall in July, with very high totals in parts of southern Illinois, above-normal amounts in much of northern Illinois, and a strip of moderately below-normal rainfall that roughly follows I-74 from the Quad Cities to Danville. The US drought map from last week (July 21) has about a third of the state as abnormally dry,…

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Seeing Crops Through a Hot, Dry June

  • June 17, 2022

After a slow start, corn and soybean planting in Illinois proceeded at a normal pace in 2022. Rainfall in May was at 85 percent of normal statewide. While we remember the very warm days from May 10-15 and a few days later in the month, the statewide May temperature was only about 2 degrees warmer than normal.
The weather during the first half of June continued the trend from May, with temperatures averaging about 2 degrees above normal,…

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On the Watch for Soil Crusting

  • May 6, 2022

Corn and soybean planting progress has been slow so far in Illinois, with 7 percent of the corn crop and 5 percent of the soybean crop planted by May 1. These numbers should increase modestly by May 8, but this will not be an early-planting year. With warm temperatures returning next week, planting progress should accelerate.
Soil temperatures at the 2-inch depth over the last ten days ranged from around 60 in southern Illinois to 55 in central Illinois to 50 in northern Illinois.…

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Spring Nitrogen Management

  • March 28, 2022

High fertilizer nitrogen prices are providing an incentive to manage N this spring with as much efficiency as possible. We’ll consider here some ways to work towards that.
Nitrogen rate: Higher corn prices are helping to counter the effect of higher N prices on N rate: if N and corn sale prices hold at current levels, MRTN rates for corn following soybean are 154 lb/acre in northern IL, 167 in central IL, and 185 in southern Illinois.…

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Is That Enough Nitrogen?

  • March 17, 2022

While N fertilizer prices remain high, at around $0.90 per lb of N as anhydrous ammonia and in the vicinity of $1.00 per lb of N as UAN or urea, recent increases in the price of corn have produced moderately higher MRTN N rates from the N rate calculator. As an example, with N at $1.00 per lb and corn at $7.00 per bushel, the MRTN rate for corn following soybean in central Illinois is 167 lb N per acre,…

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Fall Field Work Following a Wet October

  • November 2, 2021

As of October 31, 81% of the 2021 Illinois corn crop and 75% of the soybean crop had been harvested. That’s close to the 5-year average for corn, but 11 percentage points less than the average for soybeans. While harvest started early and with low grain moisture, much of Illinois, with the exception of the southern third of the state, received 6 to 10 inches of rainfall (2 to 6 inches above normal) in the last three weeks of October.…

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Notes as Fall Harvest Continues

  • October 20, 2021

After an early start to fall harvest in 2021, widespread rainfall over most of Illinois in the second week of October slowed harvest progress; by October 17, 62% of the corn crop and 51% of the soybean crop were harvested, compared to 5-year averages of 59 and 62% for the two crops, respectively. With rainfall totals of 2-3 inches over most of northern and central Illinois, many fields remain wet as harvest activities resume this week.…

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