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Identification of Palmer amaranth in Illinois

  • May 21, 2015

Palmer amaranth continued to expand its presence in Illinois during 2014. Palmer amaranth populations have been confirmed in counties colored orange or blue in Figure 1; orange designates glyphosate-resistant populations are present in these counties. It should be neither construed nor assumed that Palmer amaranth populations occur only in the counties colored on this map. It is altogether likely that Palmer amaranth populations are present in many other counties. Emerged Palmer amaranth plants were observed on May 7 at our field research location west of Kankakee.…

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Stripe rust and Fusarium head blight (scab) concerns in Illinois

  • May 14, 2015

Stripe rust of wheat has been observed in different parts of Illinois within the last week. Although some varieties have very good resistance to stripe rust, there are still several varieties that are susceptible. Stripe rust is able to flourish under the cooler temperatures we’ve had over the last few days. With rain in the forecast in parts of the state over the next few days, favorable conditions for this disease likely will continue.
Although some wheat fields in the state are already past the critical period for applying a fungicide for protection against Fusarium head blight (a.k.a.…

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A Quick Pigweed Identification Exercise

  • May 11, 2015

A scouting trip last Thursday to our Palmer amaranth research location west of Kankakee revealed that Palmer amaranth plants had begun to emerge a few days before our arrival. Early and accurate identification of Palmer amaranth plants is an important component of an integrated management program, but differentiating among seedling-stage Amaranthus plants sometimes can be difficult. As plants become larger and reproductive structures are present, identification becomes increasingly easier. The following photographs might help renew your Amaranthus species identification skills.…

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University of Illinois Weed Science Field Research Tour

  • May 11, 2015

We invite you to attend the 2015 University of Illinois Weed Science Field Day on Wednesday, June 24th at the University of Illinois Crop Sciences Research and Education Center, located immediately south of the main campus. Coffee and refreshments will be available under the shade trees near the Seed House beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Similar to past years, we will car pool to the fields where participants can join in a guided (but informal) tour format.…

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Applying Soil-Residual Herbicides to Emerged Corn

  • May 5, 2015

The rapid progress of corn planting sometimes can outpace the application of soil-residual herbicides.  In most instances these herbicides are applied within a few days after planting, but weather-and equipment-related factors can delay applications until after corn has emerged.
Most, but not all, soil residual herbicides can be applied after corn has emerged.  Products such as Balance Pro, Radius, Fierce, Prequel, Sharpen and Verdict must be applied before corn begins to emerge; applications of these products to emerged corn can result in significant corn injury. …

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Wheat disease outlook

  • April 28, 2015

As the weather begins to warm up, wheat is beginning to grow at a faster pace.  Symptoms of some diseases also are beginning to appear or will likely be appearing soon.  Below are some diseases to look for right now.
Stagonospora and Septoria leaf blotch: Although caused by two different pathogens, symptoms of these two foliar diseases look very similar and both can be managed with an appropriate foliar fungicide application.  Most results from University of Illinois wheat foliar fungicide trials conducted since 2008 have shown that an application of an effective fungicide for control of Fusarium head blight (scab) when wheat is beginning to flower also provides good protection against common foliar fungal diseases on the flag leaf. …

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Slowing the Evolution of Weed Resistance to Herbicides

  • April 20, 2015

Many individuals involved in production agriculture have first-hand experience with the numerous challenges caused by herbicide-resistant weeds.  The magnitude of herbicide resistance is best measured on a worldwide scale.  The most recent summary indicates 450 unique cases of herbicide resistance—encompassing 245 species—occur globally.  Approximately 11–12 cases of unique resistance are discovered each year.  Methods employed to detect and study the evolution of herbicide resistance have improved greatly over time, but our understanding of the epidemiology of herbicide resistance has lagged.…

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Don’t Forget about Marestail

  • April 14, 2015

The harsh realities of poor marestail control with burndown herbicides applied before soybean planting were widespread during the 2013 growing season.  We anticipated even more challenges with this species for the 2014 growing season, but by and large the forecasted marestail “train wreck” did not materialize in much of the state.  Fall herbicide applications coupled with a harsh winter that caused a high degree of mortality to winter annual weed species probably contributed to a reduced population of marestail last spring. …

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Decisions About Winter Wheat and Weeds

  • April 3, 2015

The most recent report on the condition of the Illinois winter wheat crop indicated approximately 10% of the crop was rated poor or very poor, while close to 90% was rated fair to excellent.  It appears likely that much of the wheat crop will remain intact, but in other instances farmers might elect to terminate poorer stands and plant corn or soybean.  If the decision is made to plant corn or soybean into wheat stands where some plants remain alive,…

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2015 Weed Control Guide Now Available

  • December 22, 2014

The 2008 edition of the Illinois Agricultural Pest Management Handbook was the final edition of a publication that served pest management practitioners for many decades. Herbicide information and annual updates of product performance ratings were mainstays of that publication.  Since 2008 we periodically have published herbicide performance ratings, but admittingly not with a great deal of consistency.  Recently, the weed science programs at The Ohio State University and Purdue University extended an invitation to the University of Illinois weed science program to join them in the production of their joint weed control publication. …

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