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The Bulletin

Illinois Crop Update – June 30, 2023

Talon Becker

Department of Crop Sciences
University of Illinois

June 30, 2023
Recommended citation format: Becker, T. "Illinois Crop Update – June 30, 2023." Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, June 30, 2023. Permalink

Russ Higgins – Extension Commercial Ag Educator

Grundy County

Soil Conditions: Moderately Dry (soil is dry, plants may be browning or stressed, water bodies are low)

Some fortunate NE farms received up to an inch of rain this past week. The rainfall helped our soy crop initiate new trifoliates, improving field aesthetics by hiding leaves present when post-herbicides were applied, giving some fields a “dinged” appearance. While recent rainfall was welcomed, signs of a very dry early vegetative season, and drought conditions, persist. Corn and soy are smaller than normally expected as we near July in our region. The competition for early season soil moisture is evident in corn fields having trees on their perimeter. Wheat harvest has yet to start in northern Illinois.

Figure 1: Tree and crop competition for water – Grundy County June 28, 2023


Figure 2: “Dinged soy ” Post herbicide applications – Grundy County June 2023


Jay Solomon – Extension Natural Resources, Environment, & Energy Educator

Stephenson County

Soil Conditions: Moderately Dry (soil is dry, plants may be browning or stressed, water bodies are low)

Much of the corn in NW IL was starting to roll and pineapple on late last week.  The rain over the weekend and cooler conditions reduced this impact through mid-week.   Many fields of corn and soybean fields seem to be behind in height and canopy closure at this point.  Some of the early planted fields which received timely showers during May and June look more normal.  This really shows the spotty distribution of late spring showers.


Emerson Nafziger – Professor Emeritus and Extension Agronomy Specialist

Champaign County

Soil Conditions: Moderately Wet (soil is damp, standing water may be present in low areas, water bodies are full)

Much-anticipated rainfall fell across much of central Illinois on Thursday, June 29, accompanied by high winds and hail in some places. More rain is forecast in coming days, and we hope this means an end to the drought of 2023. It would be better if the rain came more slowly without hail, but we won’t complain. Two inches or so of rain over the next two weeks should be enough to get corn through pollination in most fields, and to get soybean growth and yield potential back on track.

The fact that corn has stayed relatively short, and plants are not as brittle as they would have been with more soil moisture should help the crop withstand windstorms. Short corn can have high yield potential, as long as canopy cover is complete by pollination, and leaves remain healthy. Lower leaves that have lost color may not come back, but nutrient uptake and color of larger leaves should get back to normal. We can expect soybean leaf area to develop rapidly, and having the plants shorter than normal with less internal shading may help pod development and retention as plants continue to flower over the coming weeks.

Rainfall should bring a quick reversal of the recent decline in crop condition ratings of both corn and soybean. Answering the question about whether yield potential has been irreversibly lowered by stress will get easier over the next few weeks as plants resume growth and canopy development. We do expect yield potential to recover well, if perhaps not fully in those fields most affected by drought up to now. That will be helped along by normal rainfall, temperatures, and sunlight in July.


Talon Becker – Extension Commercial Agriculture Educator

Champaign County

Soil Conditions: Moderately Wet (soil is damp, standing water may be present in low areas, water bodies are full)

The area received some much-needed rain.  The ISWS weather stations in Bondville and Champaign recorded 1.12″ and 0.85″, respectively.  On my drive back from a field day in Christian County (after riding out the storm in Pana) the storm damage appeared to be isolated largely to toppled trees and fallen limbs.  While there was generally an eastward lean to most of the corn fields, I did not see any greensnap or large areas of flattened corn, at least on the field margins.  The images below, taken between Villa Grove and Philo in Champaign County, are from a corn field with the most severe wind damage I found.  Some of the corn is on the ground, but most plants looked to still be well-rooted and will likely stand back up over the next several days, albeit a bit “goose-necked”.  Soybean fields looked unharmed and and still generally in the R2 phase.  But they will likely put on quite a bit of growth and start setting some pods in the next couple weeks with more adequate moisture now available.

Figure 3: Wind damaged corn, approximately V13-14 – Champaign County, June 29, 2023

Figure 4: Close up of leaning corn, showing rooting and stem integrity still largely intact – Champaign County, June 29, 2023


Nathan Johanning – Extension Commercial Agriculture Educator

Monroe County

Soil Conditions: Severely Dry (soil is very dry, water bodies are very low, vegetation is stressed)

We have been dry again this week, having missed any potential rain chances that were predicted.  Our temperatures have also warmed up with most days at 90 degrees or above for highs.  This has really put the stress to crops, especially in the afternoon.  Overall, crops look fairly good considering the dry, but they are growing fairly slow.  Some early planted corn in the river bottom is starting to tassel.  Wheat harvest is wrapping up and all reports I have heard have had very good yields and quality.  Double crop soybeans are emerging fairly well, but they along with everything else, will really be hurting if we continue to stay hot and dry.

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