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New for 2021: Join the Corn Rootworm Adult Monitoring Network in Illinois (Updated contact information)

  • June 8, 2021

Nick Seiter, Joseph Spencer, and Kelly Estes
Update: please email nseiter@illinois.edu if you are interested in participating in this effort.
Are you interested in learning more about the corn rootworm populations in your field? Have you seen more northern corn rootworm adults over the last few years? Our
colleagues Dr. Erin Hodgson and Ashley Dean at Iowa State began a volunteer-driven corn rootworm monitoring network in Iowa last year, and we are cooperating with them to bring this effort to Illinois in 2021.…

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University of Illinois Weed Science Field Research Tour

  • May 27, 2021

The weed science program at the University of Illinois invites all weed management practitioners to our annual weed science field tour on Wednesday, June 23 at the Department of Crop Sciences field research location known as the Clem Farm, located at 1114 County Road 1200 East, Champaign. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the tour will start at 9:00 a.m. Preregistration is not required, but please let us know in advance if you will be bringing a large group of participants so we can plan accordingly for meals.…

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Watch for early-season pests when crop development is slow

  • May 17, 2021

While cool temperatures are not necessarily “good” for pests (they need heat units to develop too), conditions that delay growth do leave the crop in a vulnerable stage for a longer period of time. Combined with the stress of wet, cool conditions, early season pests can reduce stands and result in replants.
Seedcorn maggot. We have been receiving reports of seedcorn maggot damage in soybean this year, driven by slow germination in many fields during the window of larval activity.…

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Corn Growth Stages and Postemergence Herbicides – Size IS Important

  • May 10, 2021

The labels of most postemergence corn herbicides allow applications at various crop growth stages, but almost all product labels indicate a maximum growth stage beyond which broadcast applications should not be made, and a few even a state minimum growth stage before which applications should not be made.  These growth stages are usually indicated as a particular plant height or leaf stage; sometimes both of these are listed.  For product labels that indicate a specific corn height and growth state,…

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Adjusting Nitrogen Fertilizer Rates to Price Changes

  • April 28, 2021

Corn planting progress continues, with 23% of the Illinois crop planted by April 25, and planting continues with some rain delays the last week of April. The warm temperatures that finally arrived will be good for emergence of both corn and soybeans, but there are some reports of damage to early-planted soybeans from frost on April 21 and 22.
Warmer soil temperatures will start the mineralization process by which microbes release N from soil organic matter,…

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Emerging Soybeans and Delayed PRE Herbicide Applications

  • April 26, 2021

Soil-residual herbicides are important components of integrated weed management programs. Labels of many single and multiple active ingredient products allow application before and after soybean emergence, but other active ingredients can cause severe soybean injury if applied to emerging soybean. In fields where a PRE herbicide application has been delayed and soybean are beginning to emerge, the following active ingredients (applied either alone or as a premix product) should not be applied:
sulfentrazone (many Authority-based products,…

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Soybean gall midge: learn to identify this potential invader

  • April 20, 2021

Authors: Nick Seiter1, Joseph Spencer2, and Kelly Estes2
1University of Illinois Dept. of Crop Sciences; 2Illinois Natural History Survey
Farmers in several states to our west (particularly in eastern Nebraska) have been dealing with the soybean gall midge for several years. We have been fortunate to avoid this new soybean pest so far in Illinois (a current distribution map, scouting instructions, and additional information are available at https://soybeangallmidge.org). We want to stay on top of soybean gall midge if it does arrive here,…

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A Tough Week Ahead

  • April 19, 2021

In the week ending on April 18, planted acreage moved up in Illinois, from 5 to 12% for corn and from 2 to 5% for soybean. The forecast for cool temperatures this week has turned even cooler, with highs in the 40s for several days, and with frost possible, including temperatures that may drop into the upper 20s in some places in mid-week. There may be some snow as well, which as it melts will move as cold water into the soil.…

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Cool Temperatures at Planting

  • April 16, 2021

Planting is off to a fast start in Illinois, with 5 percent of the corn crop and 3 percent of the soybean crop planted by April 11 (NASS). With the exception of much of western Illinois, where heavy rain fell on April 8-9, most of Illinois remains dry, and planting continues, but with some concern about low temperatures that persist.
Temperatures the first half of April were close to average, but were above average the first week and below average the second week of the month.…

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Does This Product Work?

  • April 6, 2021

“Every agronomic decision is a good one for someone” is a quote that I saw recently that reminds us that being “entrepreneurial” is high valued in today’s business world, rewarded in some cases by large amounts of venture capital invested in startup companies. That’s as true in crop agriculture as in any other business, and it means that startups are under pressure to find or create niches and product(s) to fill them, and to demonstrate that these products are widely sellable.…

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