A Southern View Crop Observations from Southern Illinois Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/rss.xml Brownstown Agronomy Research Center Cover Crop Field Day - Nov. 13 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_9203/ Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:29:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_9203/ University of Illinois Extension and the Fayette County SWCD are hosting a Cover Crop Field Day on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. The field day will be held at the U of I Brownstown Agronomy Research Center, 1588 IL 185, Brownstown, IL (Directions here).

The field day will include tours of the current cover crop research trials being conducted at the Center. Extension educators and NRCS field staff will be on hand to discuss cover crop species selection, the effects of planting date and seeding method on cover crop establishment, factors influencing soil health, as will share their experience on the challenges and successes of cover crop establishment. 2.0 CCA-CEU credits in Soil & Water Management have been requested.

For more information, contact:

Robert Bellm, U of I Extension
618-427-3349 rcbellm@illinois.edu

Tony Pals, Fayette County SWCD
618-283-1095, ext. 3 tony.pals@il.nacdnet.net]]>
Soybean Aphid Monitoring Begins http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6985/ Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:16:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6985/ The picture shown above is not a rocket, and it's not an artillery piece. It's actually a specialized suction trap designed to capture various aphid species, including soybean aphid. A network of these traps, coupled with observations from field scouting, will be used to monitor soybean aphid populations throughout the summer.

Soybean aphids overwinter on buckthorn, which is a woody ornamental shrub that has escaped cultivation to become an invasive plant in the northern part of Illinois and other states to our north. Due to the small amount of buckthorn found in southern Illinois, soybean aphids do not appear to overwinter here in significant numbers. In order to get here they must be blown south on storm fronts coming from the north.....not the typical path of most weather fronts passing through our region. As a result, southern Illinois has escaped serious soybean aphid infestations in most years, with the notable exception of 2009 when widespread infestations and damage occurred.

A recent Bulletin article by Dr. Mike Gray indicates that researchers are finding unusually large numbers of soybean aphids early in the season in Michigan, with somewhat lower numbers being found in Wisconsin and Minnesota. While it is still much too early to predict if southern Illinois will have a soybean aphid problem this summer, we are getting some storm fronts moving through the area out of the northwest. In addition, most of the soybeans here have been planted at least a month later than normal, meaning that they will remain in a susceptible growth stage later into the summer than what is normal.

Nitrogen Loss Under Wet Field Conditions http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6887/ Fri, 31 May 2013 12:30:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6887/ USDA Weather & Crop Report, which indicates that 89 percent of the corn crop statewide has been planted. Here at the Brownstown Agronomy Research Center we have barely been able to plant a couple of small plot areas, and those were done under less than ideal soil conditions. Claypan soils have poor surface and internal drainage characteristics, and when this is coupled with excess precipitation, standing water results. If it is any consolation, we share these challenging delays with our farming neighbors, which is why the University's off-campus crop research centers were established to begin with:  to conduct agronomic research under the various growing soils and environments found throughout the state. Our local research results are relevant to the local growers.

One question that may soon be crossing growers' minds is whether the excessive rainfall has resulted in enough nitrogen loss to justify adding additional N to corn as a sidedress application? An excellent Bulletin article by Dr. Emerson Nafziger addresses both carryover nitrogen from last summer's drought, and well as fall nitrogen applications, and how the current wet conditions may affect N losses through leaching and denitrification. Keep in mind though, that almost all of the N in southern Illinois is applied in the spring, and the cold, wet conditions this spring delayed those applications to being later normal. Nitrogen in the ammonium form is stable in the soil, and is not subject to leaching and denitrification until it has first been converted to nitrate by soil microorganisms. This conversion from ammonium to nitrate is very slow under cool and saturated soil conditions. If your spring nitrogen was applied as anhydrous ammonia, then much of it is likely still in the ammonium form and not been lost. On the other hand, if you were counting on a large amount of residual nitrogen carry over from last summer's drought, you will likely be disappointed. That residual N was already in the nitrate form last fall, and therefore much more subject to leaching and denitrification loss under this spring's wet field conditions.]]>
More on Wheat Diseases - Fusarium Head Blight http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6780/ Fri, 10 May 2013 07:45:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6780/ Bulletin article on Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat. FHB, also commonly referred to as "scab" is the most serious wheat disease that we potentially deal with each year. Not only can it seriously reduce yield and test weight, grain quality can be reduced because the causal fungus also has the ability to produce the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON).

FHB is most apt to develop when prolonged wet, humid conditions occur just before, during, and immediately after flowering in wheat. There are several fungicides (Caramba, Prosaro, Proline, and tebuconazole) that are effective at reducing disease severity, but they have a very narrow application window (Feekes Growth Stage 10.5.1, or early flowering) and proper application timing is critical. With proper fungicide selection and application timing, FHB severity can be reduced by 60 - 70 percent. However, this level of control will drop by almost half if the application timing is off by just 5 days too early or too late. Fungicides work best when applied to wheat varieties that also have a higher level of genetic resistance to Fusarium head blight.]]>
Be on the Lookout for Wheat Diseases http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6769/ Wed, 08 May 2013 11:50:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6769/ Bulletin article on scouting and management of wheat foliar diseases.

Be careful not to confuse disease symptoms caused by viruses with disease symptoms caused by fungal pathogens. While there are numerous fungicides that that help effectively manage fungal diseases, these fungicides provide absolutely no control of virus diseases.
Further Signs that Spring is in the Air http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6629/ Thu, 04 Apr 2013 11:14:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6629/
In my March 20 blog entry, I had commented upon last fall's soil nitrate monitoring study. Preliminary testing early this spring indicates that there has been some leaching of residual nitrate down through the soil profile during the winter and early spring months, as reported by Dr. Emerson Nafziger in the April 2 Bulletin article. With soils now drying out and corn planting just around the corner, we will begin a broader re-sampling the same field areas that were sampled last fall to get a better idea of how much N may still be available for this summer's corn crop.
Wheat Observations http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6575/ Wed, 20 Mar 2013 13:19:00 +0000 http://web.extension.illinois.edu/barc/eb265/entry_6575/ Last year at this time soils were dry, temperatures were in the 80's, and growers in southern and central Illinois were pulling into the fields with corn planters. Flash forward 12 months and we have standing water in many fields, and potential snow flurries predicted for early next week. As a result, there is zero field work occurring other than some wheat nitrogen applications in fields that have better drainage, or may be frozen early in the morning. Currently the wheat crop is around Feekes Growth Stage 3 (tillers formed, breaking dormancy), whereas last year at this same time we were well into Feekes Growth Stage 5 (leaf sheaths strongly erect – typically the optimum time to apply nitrogen if it is going on as a single application).

As you drive around, you can observe some fields that are becoming discolored. You can often see varietal differences, as shown in the image above taken in the Wheat Variety Testing trial here at the Center. The problem is probably due to either wheat spindle-streak mosaic virus or wheat soil-borne mosaic virus. Both are viruses vectored by fungi in the soil, and plants should grow out of the problem as temperatures warm and soils dry.