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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:  kcook8@illinois.edu 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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Herbicide Resistance: Are Soil-Applied Herbicides Immune?

  • April 16, 2013

The continual evolution of weed species and populations resistant to herbicides from one or more mechanism-of-action families represents one of the most daunting challenges faced by weed management practitioners.  Currently in Illinois, biotypes of 12 weed species have been confirmed resistant to one or more herbicide mechanisms of action.  Resistance to herbicides that inhibit the ALS enzyme is the most common type of resistance in Illinois.  Waterhemp has evolved resistance to more herbicide mechanisms of action than any other Illinois weed species,…

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Corn Planting Time in a “Normal” Spring

  • April 10, 2013

Yes, a year does make a lot of difference – in 2012, we had 5 percent of the Illinois corn crop planted by April 1 and 17 percent planted by April 9. This year, the April 8 issue of Illinois Weather & Crops from the Illinois office of NASS gives no percentage planted as of April 7, which means that less than 1 percent had been planted. There has been some planting this week,…

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Pyramided Bt Cotton and Factors Leading to Potential Compromised Longevity: Cautionary Findings for Bt Corn and Western Corn Rootworm?

  • April 9, 2013

In late March 2013, an article was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) titled “Potential shortfall of pyramided transgenic cotton for insect resistance management.” The authors of the paper were as follows: Thierry Brévault, Shannon Heuberger, Min Zhang, Christa Ellers-Kirk, Xinzhi Ni, Luke Masson, Xianchiun Li, Bruce E. Tabashnik, and Yves Carrière. The scientists pointed out in their introduction that the first generation of Bt cotton plants,…

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Applying Dicamba Prior to Planting

  • April 9, 2013

Dicamba is a growth regulator herbicide that can be used to control existing weed vegetation prior to crop planting.   Several commercially-available products contain dicamba, but not all products are specifically labeled for application prior to crop (especially soybean) planting.  Clarity may be applied before planting no-tillage corn at rates ranging from 8 (on coarse soils or medium- and fine-textured soils with less than 2.5% organic matter) to 16 (medium- and fine-textured soils containing 2.5% or greater organic matter) fluid ounces. …

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Remain Aware of the Potential for Herbicide Carryover in 2013

  • April 8, 2013

Ideally, soil-residual herbicides should provide several weeks of weed control but not persist long enough in the soil environment to cause damage to rotational crops.  Dry soil conditions, similar to what most of Illinois experienced during the 2012 growing season, often slow the rate of herbicide degradation and increase the potential for damage to rotational crops from herbicide carryover.  Some remember the dry growing season of 1998 and the problems encountered in 1989 due to the persistence of one or more soil-residual herbicides that did not adequately degrade in the dry soil conditions of 1988. …

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Spring Soil Nitrogen Following the Drought of 2012

  • April 2, 2013

Last fall, with funding provided through the Illinois Council for Best Management Practices (C-BMP), GROWMARK, C-BMP, and the University of Illinois initiated the N-Watch soil sampling program to see how much inorganic N remained in the soil following the drought of 2012.
Fall sampling revealed fairly high amounts of soil N, with 151 samples statewide averaging 19.5 ppm of nitrate-N in the top foot of soil. We multiply this time 4 to get lb of N per acre,…

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Soil Insecticide Use on Bt Corn Expected to Increase this Spring Across Much of Illinois

  • March 28, 2013

What a difference a year can make. Many of us will recall the record-breaking warm temperatures of last March across the Corn Belt of the United States. Those temperatures fueled a rush towards planting in April and the earliest emergence of western corn rootworm adults that I have witnessed. On June 7, 2012, I reported that severe rootworm injury had already occurred in a cornfield located in Cass County along with plentiful adults that were causing considerable injury to the corn leaves.…

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