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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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Wet Soils and Corn

  • July 15, 2021

The 2021 cropping season in Illinois (and the Corn Belt) continues to be a story of haves, have-nots, and have-way-too-much with regard to rainfall. In the first three weeks of June, nearly all of Illinois had below-normal rainfall, and concerns about dryness increased. That ended abruptly: in the three weeks from June 25 through July 14, rainfall totals ranged from below normal in the northwestern counties to 25 to 75% above normal in southern Illinois to 100 to more than 200% above normal in central Illinois,…

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Planting-time Considerations

  • March 23, 2021

March rainfall in Illinois has ranged from as much as an inch below normal in the northern third of the state, to close to normal in central Illinois, to as much as 2 to 3 inches above normal in the southern third of Illinois. This, along with some rain this week, has dampened the hope for a March start to planting in most areas. That gives us time to think about issues related to planting and early-season management.…

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Midwestern Hemp Database: 2020 Research Report

  • February 19, 2021

The Midwestern Hemp Database (MHD) is a large scale collaboration between land grant institutions, private laboratories, non-profit organizations, and grower-cooperators in the Midwest. The goal of this project is to provide regional insight into agronomic performance and cannabinoid development of hemp cultivars grown for cannabinoid production. The data generated from this project is made available through the publicly accessible interface located at:
The database contains information on production practices (planting method, row spacing,…

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Is Fall a Good Time to Apply Nitrogen?

  • September 30, 2020

Applying anhydrous ammonia in the fall to provide N to the corn crop the following year has a long history in Illinois and in other parts of the Corn Belt where rotation, tillage, and manure management practices allow it.  Fall application means getting a major field operation done when soil conditions are generally more favorable than they are in the spring, and it helps to spread the work load across more months. Historically, the cost of ammonia has also been lower in the fall than in the following spring,…

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Weather and the 2020 Illinois Corn and Soybean Crops

  • August 5, 2020

What a difference July rainfall makes. The U.S. Drought Map based on data through July 28 showed that only six percent of Illinois was rated as abnormally dry or with moderate drought, down from nearly 19 percent two weeks earlier. Above-normal rainfall over the past week in the southern half of Illinois will erase at least half that area, and with cooler weather this week, crop stress should be minimal during the first half of August,…

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post on fungicides for hail damaged crops

  • July 12, 2020

That was one heck of a storm yesterday.  Many fields throughout East central Illinois were severely affected by nickel sized hail.  Although my three year old stated that we should, “use some tape” to fix the damaged tissues, some will consider fungicide applications.  A new post on the subject can be found here. …

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UIUC Field Crop Extension Conferences- Sign up today!

  • December 19, 2019

What do you need to know for the 2020 growing season? The University of Illinois will address several key topics at four regional conferences around the state in January and February. The meetings will provide a forum for discussion and interaction between participants, University of Illinois researchers, and Extension educators.
Conference dates and locations are:
Jan. 22 DoubleTree by Hilton, Mount Vernon
Jan. 29 Brookens Auditorium at University of Illinois, Springfield

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Harvest time is not the time to determine if a disease affected your crop

  • October 30, 2019

It happens every year.
A field is about to be harvested and something is awry.  Perhaps the plants are lodged, ears are poorly filled, or pods shrunken.  What happened to my crop?
From a plant disease perspective, it is nearly impossible to provide any useful information to the producer.  Many pathogens that can cause crop diseases are also excellent saprophytes.  That means they utilize dead or dying plant tissues for nourishment.  Consequently, when plants prematurely senesce,…

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