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Corn and soybean crops limp towards the finish line

  • September 5, 2019

After the worst start to a cropping season in decades, mid-season lack of rain in parts of Illinois, and season-long low crop ratings, it’s time to take a look at what comes next as the 2019 cropping season moves into its final stages.
Corn
To no one’s surprise, various crop tours in recent weeks have confirmed that corn yields in parts of Illinois are likely to be disappointing. If there is a positive, it’s that the crop may look a little better than we thought it would by now after more than half of it was planted after June 1.…

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Let us know if you see these diseases in Illinois!

  • August 8, 2019

There are two, fairly new and / or important diseases  to keep an eye out for in 2019.  We are actively seeking samples of symptomatic plants for research to help us understand the biology, ecology, and management of these pathogens.  If you have a suspect sample, please send to the UIUC plant diagnostic clinic for confirmation (cost will be covered), and or contact me via email, telephone, or twitter.
 
The first is a disease that we started working on in late 2017- Tar spot on corn. …

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Corn and soybean crops at mid-season, 2019

  • July 19, 2019

The 2019 Illinois corn crop reached 50% planted during the first week of June, more than a month later than the average of the past five years. The soybean crop reached 50% planted a few days later than corn, and more than three weeks later than the average of the past five years. May rainfall was above normal over most of Illinois, and June brought near-normal rainfall over much of the state. Still, the late planting coupled with too much or too little rainfall after planting produced July crop condition ratings of only about 40% good + excellent for both crops,…

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Southern rust in Illinois- it’s complicated

  • July 18, 2019

This week we started picking up Southern rust in the southern Illinois.  Thusfar, reports indicate that disease severity is low.  However, the recent hurricane remnant and warm forecasts may mean that we may see the disease progress somewhat in the coming days and weeks.
When people in Illinois hear the words southern rust, it brings back memories of a few years ago when the disease moved in and environmental conditions favored disease development for a prolonged period of time. …

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Cover crops on prevented-planting acres: an update

  • July 3, 2019

There have been a number of developments since my June 17 article on managing prevented-planting (PP) fields. A major change was the granting of permission to harvest cover crops planted on PP acres after September 1, instead of November 1. In addition, harvesting after September 1 can now be done with a forage harvester—as silage—rather than only by grazing or making hay.
In simple terms that means that cover crops on PP acres can be managed as forage crops,…

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Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center Agronomy Day, July 17th

  • June 27, 2019

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center will host a Field Day on Wednesday, July 17. Join University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences faculty, researchers, students, and Extension specialists as they address issues pertinent to the 2019 growing season.
The program will begin promptly on Wednesday, July 17 at 8:00 a.m. and is open to the public at no cost. Refreshments and BBQ sandwiches will be available at the end of the tour.…

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Managing Prevented-Planting Fields

  • June 17, 2019

With a lot of acres of corn and soybeans still unplanted as we move into the second half of June, prevented planting (PP) is unfortunately going to be a major part of the story of the 2019 cropping season in Illinois. Here we’ll look at goals and options for managing acres on which the intended crop—corn or soybean—does not get planted.
The main goals of managing PP acres will be: 1) providing a vegetative cover in order to keep the soil in place and to prevent “fallow syndrome”;…

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Rain, late planting, and nitrogen

  • June 5, 2019

One of the most pressing questions as planting continues into June after a very wet May is whether or not the high rainfall amounts over the past month have affected the amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed for the corn crop this year. This is a complicated question, related both to concern about how much early-applied N might be lost and to decreased yield potential from late planting that might lower the need for N. The recent price increase in corn also provides an incentive to make sure the crop gets enough N.…

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Dealing with very late planting

  • May 31, 2019

Despite the fact that the “active” weather pattern gave no signs of changing over the past month, few of us thought we’d see so little planting progress by now. But here we are, with only 35% of the Illinois corn crop and 14% of the soybean crop planted by May 26. With more rain this week, we will have less than half the corn and less than a fourth of the soybeans planted before June 1 in Illinois.…

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