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Wet Spring Weather and Nitrogen Loss Revisited

  • May 9, 2024
  • Emerson Nafziger

You can also read this article in Portuguese and Spanish
April temperatures were warmer than normal in Illinois, making the January-April period one of the warmest on record. April was also wetter than normal, and as rains have continued into May, questions about nitrogen (N) losses continue to increase. This concern is greater for fall-applied N, but warm soil temperatures and wet soils have some people talking about the possible need for more N to replace what might have been lost so far.…

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Notes on soybeans as planting gets underway

  • April 10, 2024

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While statewide precipitation in March averaged 3.21 inches (89% of normal), we saw a clear north-south gradient within Illinois, with totals ranging from half to an inch above normal in the northern part of Illinois to as much as up to two inches below normal in the southern end of the state. April began with above-average precipitation across the state, with 7-day totals averaging almost 2 inches,…

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The 2023 soybean crop as the season winds down

  • September 6, 2023

Rainfall in the first two weeks of August recharged soil moisture across much of Illinois, but since then, the combination of low rain amounts and very high temperatures (4.7 to 8.9 degrees above average) brought on some stress during the last week of August. The August 29 U.S. drought monitor map from last week showed about 43% of the state with no stress, 42% abnormally dry, and 15% with moderate drought. Parts of central and southern Illinois received between 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rain this week,…

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The 2023 corn crop as the season winds down

  • August 18, 2023

Rainfall in late June and early July brought relief from very dry conditions, but soils dried out again before August 5-9 rains over most of Illinois recharged soil moisture enough to restore crop prospects for the 2023 season. The August 15 U.S. drought monitor map showed 28% of Illinois to have no drought, 57% to be abnormally dry, and 14% to be in moderate drought. At this point in the season, there’s little concern about abnormal dryness,…

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Rainfall may not completely reverse the effects of drought

  • July 8, 2023

Nearly all of Illinois received rainfall in the late June and early July, with amounts of 2 to 5 inches across a large part of the state (Figure 1). There is more variability than the map shows – for example, only 1.67 inches fell at Willard Airport near Champaign, not the 2.5-3” indicated on the map. But there is no doubt that the rain boosted crop prospects for 2023, and reversed the month-long decline in crop condition.…

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Dry Weather and Crop Conditions in Illinois

  • June 22, 2023

The first two months of the 2023 growing season have been much like the first two months of the 2022 growing season, with a few key differences. The 2023 crop was planted earlier and into somewhat drier soils – some producers actually waited to plant during part of the second half of April until the weather warmed up. By May 7, 73% of the corn and 66% of the soybean had been planted, compared to the 14% for corn and 10% for soybean from May 7,…

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Early-Season Soybean Management in 2023

  • April 10, 2023

March was a wet month across much of Illinois. Statewide precipitation averaged 4.48 inches, 1.27 inches above normal. The wet trend continued throughout the first week of April, especially in northern Illinois: more than 1.5 inches of rain fell in some places. NASS reported 1.7 and 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the weeks ending April 2 and April 9, respectively.
March temperature averaged 40.5 degrees compared to the 30-yr average of 41.1 degrees, but with wild swings.…

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High Yield with Less Rainfall: Corn and Soybean in Illinois in 2022

  • February 17, 2023

Every crop year brings its own set of challenges during the growing season. The story of the 2022 growing season in Illinois was one of dry weather and crop stress at times and in some places, but good to great yields anyway. How did this happen?
Growing season weather and crop conditions
April was not a wet month, but it was wet enough and cool enough to delay planting; by May 1, only 7 percent of the corn and 5% of the soybean crops were planted.…

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Evaluating Yield Response of Biological Seed Treatments in Soybean – 2022 Illinois Project Update

  • January 24, 2023

Biological seed treatment is a growing market in the U.S., with several new products being available to growers every year. These products are marketed to increase grain yield and return on investment by the action of a single or a mix of plant-beneficial microbes (e.g., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, N-fixing bacteria, and P-solubilizing microbes). Given high commodity prices, growers are interested in understanding the benefits of applying biological products to the seed. In 2022, we evaluated nine commonly marketed biological seed treatment products at two locations in Illinois.…

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Fertilizing with High-Priced P and K

  • October 21, 2022

As the 2022 season winds down, farmers are thinking about their fertility program for the 2023 growing season. While fertilizer prices have declined since spring, fertilizer prices remain high, and fertilizer costs are significantly higher than a year ago (farmdoc daily, 12:148). With continued high fertilizer prices, making every pound of fertilizer count is essential. The most important thing to be as efficient as possible is reviewing a few principles related to soil fertility.…

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