skip to Main Content

Cover crops on prevented-planting acres: an update

  • July 3, 2019

There have been a number of developments since my June 17 article on managing prevented-planting (PP) fields. A major change was the granting of permission to harvest cover crops planted on PP acres after September 1, instead of November 1. In addition, harvesting after September 1 can now be done with a forage harvester—as silage—rather than only by grazing or making hay.
In simple terms that means that cover crops on PP acres can be managed as forage crops,…

Read This Article

Managing Prevented-Planting Fields

  • June 17, 2019

With a lot of acres of corn and soybeans still unplanted as we move into the second half of June, prevented planting (PP) is unfortunately going to be a major part of the story of the 2019 cropping season in Illinois. Here we’ll look at goals and options for managing acres on which the intended crop—corn or soybean—does not get planted.
The main goals of managing PP acres will be: 1) providing a vegetative cover in order to keep the soil in place and to prevent “fallow syndrome”;…

Read This Article

Rain, late planting, and nitrogen

  • June 5, 2019

One of the most pressing questions as planting continues into June after a very wet May is whether or not the high rainfall amounts over the past month have affected the amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed for the corn crop this year. This is a complicated question, related both to concern about how much early-applied N might be lost and to decreased yield potential from late planting that might lower the need for N. The recent price increase in corn also provides an incentive to make sure the crop gets enough N.…

Read This Article

Dealing with very late planting

  • May 31, 2019

Despite the fact that the “active” weather pattern gave no signs of changing over the past month, few of us thought we’d see so little planting progress by now. But here we are, with only 35% of the Illinois corn crop and 14% of the soybean crop planted by May 26. With more rain this week, we will have less than half the corn and less than a fourth of the soybeans planted before June 1 in Illinois.…

Read This Article

Managing when planting is delayed

  • May 6, 2019

With only 9% of the Illinois corn crop planted by April 28 and with 3 to 5 inches of rain this past week in the northern half of the state, and above normal rainfall just about everywhere else, there has been little further progress. The start in 2018 wasn’t much earlier than this, but planting was very fast once it started, and we finished earlier than normal. That will not repeat in 2019. In fact, the progress report released today (May 6) shows that corn went from 9 to 10% planted over the past week (it was 68% one year ago),…

Read This Article

Variable vs. Uniform Seeding Rates for Corn

  • April 16, 2019

Along with colleagues from Ohio State University, we took a look recently at data from a lot of corn plant population trials in both Ohio and Illinois to see if we could come up with estimates of the value of variable-rate corn planting. This work was published in Agronomy Journal (reference is at the end of this article) and my OSU colleagues also put the findings in an Extension fact sheet, available here.…

Read This Article

Another Look at Soybean Planting Date

  • April 12, 2019

As we wait for things to dry out so planting can begin in Illinois, I’ll provide an update on soybean planting date, including addition of some recent data and more detail on what planting date studies are telling us.
Between 2010 and 2018, we ran a total of 30 soybean planting date trials at four sites—Urbana and Perry in central Illinois and DeKalb and Monmouth in northern Illinois. We also ran trials at two southern Illinois sites in some of those years,…

Read This Article

Managing Nitrogen for Corn in 2019

  • March 26, 2019

The fall of 2018 and so far in 2019, there have been limited opportunities to apply nitrogen fertilizer. Average rainfall through the first 25 days of March ranged from a little less than normal in the northern half of Illinois to an inch or more above normal in south-central Illinois. But temperatures have averaged 3 to 4 degrees below normal, which slowed drying. There were several days in the first week of March when it was frozen on the surface and a considerable amount of P and K went on.…

Read This Article

Early-Season Soybean Management for 2019

  • March 11, 2019

Average Illinois soybean yield first exceeded 50 bushels per acre in 2004, when it was 50.5 bushels. It was 51.5 bushels in 2010, and 50 bushels in 2013. Over the five years beginning in 2014, it was 56, 56, 59, 58, and, in 2018, an astonishing 65 bushels per acre. Yield in each of the past five years was above trendline, which is a first—the longest stretch of above-trendline yields in the previous 30 years was for three years.…

Read This Article

Notes on fall fertilization

  • October 26, 2018

With harvest winding down in most of Illinois after another year with high to very high yields, it’s time to review some basics of fall fertilization. Neither fertilizer nor grain prices are historically high, so there’s reason to be aware of costs while making sure to cover the nutrient basics.
In a webinar on October 19 organized by the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, we looked at some of the nitrogen response data that have come in so far this fall and considered what this might mean in terms of fall N management.…

Read This Article
Back To Top