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Wheat scab rearing its ugly “head”

  • June 10, 2013

Head scab of wheat (a.k.a. Fusarium head blight) is showing up in Illinois wheat fields.  Incidence is ranging from low (less than 10% of the heads affected) to moderately high (over 25% of the heads affected).  Affected wheat heads will appear “bleached” in color.  Heads often are partially affected, with both healthy green and affected bleached areas being present in the same head.  Although I have not been in all wheat production areas in the state,…

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New Mobile Corn Replant Decision Aid

  • June 7, 2013

Deciding on whether or not to replant can be a difficult decision. Cutworm, compaction and seedling blight are some of the problems that can lead to reduced plant populations. The sight of an uneven reduced stand is often more than many farmers can take, but the desire to “fix-it” may not make sense agronomically or economically.
For fields where the stand has been relatively evenly thinned out the following advice is most relevant.…

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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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Mark Your Calendars for the 2013 AGMasters Conference

  • May 29, 2013

The 2013 AGMasters Conference will be held at the i Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, IL on December 2 and 3. The conference will begin with a morning general program followed with 1 1/2 days of specialized sessions. Participants will be able to pick and choose the sessions of most interest to them. These sessions are designed to encourage interaction between instructors and students and cover a broad range of topics including crop production challenges,…

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Stripe rust of wheat observed in Illinois

  • May 10, 2013

Stripe rust of wheat was observed in Champaign County, IL on May 10, 2013 (Fig. 1). The incidence of the disease was very low. The observation of this disease in Champaign County indicates that stripe rust likely is present in southern Illinois counties too.


Wheat producers will need to continue to scout their crop for stripe rust, and apply an effective fungicide if necessary (see this previous post for additional information about stripe rust and fungicides:…

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Conditions favorable for Fusarium head blight (scab) in southern Illinois

  • May 9, 2013

Wheat plants are now beginning to head out and flower in parts of southern Illinois. During this critical time of wheat development, wheat becomes susceptible to infection by Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB; also known as scab) (Fig. 1).  This disease can cause reduced grain yield, test weight, and quality.  In addition, the fungus can produce toxins that will contaminate grain such as deoxynivalenol (DON; also known as vomitoxin). …

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Wheat – foliar disease update and outlook

  • May 3, 2013

Symptoms of some foliar diseases of wheat are apparent in Illinois wheat fields, and the threat of other diseases is on the horizon. Current wheat diseases that have been observed in the state are Septoria and Stagonospora leaf blotch, Barley yellow dwarf, and other virus diseases.
Of these diseases, only the fungal leaf blotches (Septoria/Stagonospora) can be managed with foliar fungicides.  Although a flag leaf emergence timing for a foliar fungicide application may be recommended sometimes,…

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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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The Trapping Line: April 23

  • April 23, 2013

UPDATE(4/25): Additional volunteers needed. Kelly Estes, Coordinator of the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey suggests anyone interested in monitoring traps contact her at: or 217-333-1005.
Currently, black cutworm moth pheromone traps are active in the University of Illinois insect monitoring program.  Traps for other species will be brought online as the season progresses. Extension Educators and volunteers monitor the traps and report the results through the North Central IPM PIPE system,…

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