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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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Managing when planting is delayed

  • May 6, 2019

With only 9% of the Illinois corn crop planted by April 28 and with 3 to 5 inches of rain this past week in the northern half of the state, and above normal rainfall just about everywhere else, there has been little further progress. The start in 2018 wasn’t much earlier than this, but planting was very fast once it started, and we finished earlier than normal. That will not repeat in 2019. In fact, the progress report released today (May 6) shows that corn went from 9 to 10% planted over the past week (it was 68% one year ago),…

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Variable vs. Uniform Seeding Rates for Corn

  • April 16, 2019

Along with colleagues from Ohio State University, we took a look recently at data from a lot of corn plant population trials in both Ohio and Illinois to see if we could come up with estimates of the value of variable-rate corn planting. This work was published in Agronomy Journal (reference is at the end of this article) and my OSU colleagues also put the findings in an Extension fact sheet, available here.…

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