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Soil Temperatures and Spring Prospects

  • March 18, 2014

We hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow by now, but both air and soil temperatures remain below average in Illinois heading into the second half of March. According to the Illinois State Water Survey ( minimum temperatures 4 inches deep under bare soil ranged from the low 30s in northern Illinois to the mid-30s in southern Illinois the morning of March 17, and with some sunshine on that day, reached the upper 40s to low 50w in southern Illinois but did not get above the low 30s in the northern part of the state.…

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2014 Illinois Crop Management Conferences Registration Now Open

  • December 4, 2013

The latest research information on crop production and management issues will be discussed at four University of Illinois Crop Management Conferences this winter. These two-day conferences are designed to address a wide array of topics pertinent to crop production, pest management, and natural resource issues and provide a forum for discussion and interaction between participants and university researchers.
Certified Crop Advisers can earn up to 13 hours of CEU credit. Advance registration, no later than one week before each conference,…

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Potash Fertilizer: Is There a Problem?

  • November 21, 2013

In a publication brought to the public’s attention by news release from the University of Illinois several weeks ago, S.A. Khan, Richard Mulvaney and a colleague in the Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois challenged a number of basic tenets of soil fertility, especially practices related to use of potassium (K) fertilizer. Citing hundreds of references and thousands of reported studies, they asserted that: K fertilizer is generally unnecessary in soils like most of those in Illinois;…

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Issues with Nitrogen Fertilizer: Fall 2013

  • November 1, 2013

With 85 percent of soybean and 74 percent of corn acres harvested by October 27, the annual process of deciding when and how to supply nitrogen fertilizer for the 2014 corn crop is underway.
Lessons from this past year
Following the very dry first half of 2012 and low corn yields, soil sampling last fall revealed an average of about 80 lb N present as nitrate in the top foot of soil in Illinois. With a lot of rain in late winter and early spring,…

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Fall Fertilization for the 2014 Crop

  • October 27, 2013

Corn and soybean harvest continues to move along in Illinois, and as the 2013 crops come off, thoughts turn to fall fertilization. In this article we’ll discuss nutrients other than nitrogen. This will be followed soon by an article on nitrogen.
P and K
In areas with dry soils, we have in recent years had reports of lower than expected soil test K values. There might be some of this in 2013, but we’re also hearing some reports of soil test P and K levels higher than expected.…

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Brownstown Agronomy Research Center Field Day – July 25

  • July 15, 2013

The 2013 Brownstown Agronomy Research Center Field Day, presented by the University Of Illinois Department Of Crop Sciences, will be held on Thursday, July 25. Extension researchers and specialists will address issues pertinent to the current growing season. Tours will start at 8 a.m., with the second and third groups leaving the headquarters around 8:20 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. The tours will last about two and a half hours and will be followed by lunch provided by U of I Extension.…

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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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Supplemental Information about Soil-Residual Herbicides Applied to Emerged Corn

  • May 20, 2013

The following table provides supplemental information to an article (“Soil-Residual Herbicides Applied to Emerged Corn”) published last week.  Table 1 summarizes information about postemergence applications of more traditional soil-applied corn herbicides.  Please consult the respective product label for additional information.
Table 1.  Maximum Corn Size for Postemergence Applications of Soil-Residual Herbicides

Maximum Corn Size for Broadcast Application

Prequel, Princep, Verdict
Before corn emergence

Balance Flexx, Corvus
2 leaf collars

Bullet, Micro-Tech
5 inches

Bicep Lite II Magnum,…

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Determining How Much Nitrogen Is Present

  • May 6, 2013

Fall Nitrogen
With a still fresh memory of the drought conditions during last year, recent rains have reduced concerns over water availability for the start of the 2013 growing season, but at the same time, concerns over nitrogen (N) loss have increased. Nitrogen loss is difficult to predict because it depends in many factors such as time of N application, type of N source, soil type and temperature, and the amount of precipitation received. While it is difficult to know how much N is lost without a direct analysis of soil N,…

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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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