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Current crop information updates and research highlights
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SoyPlantingDate

Soybean Planting Date Response

The probability of getting the maximum soybean yield declines very similar to corn....

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April 27 Early soybean near Cisco, IL.

Cool Beans

These young soybean plants emerging near Cisco, IL may wish they were still in the bag, but soybean planting date research shows that in Central and Northern Illinois early planted soybeans tend to have highest probability of maximum yield....

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Don't be surprised by very low K soil tests this fall!

Better than expected yields and a very dry fall are causing soils to test very low for available potassium (K). Most of the K in corn is in the foliage an is washed back into the soil by rainfall as the residue decays. Some of the K may also be locked into very dry soil clay particles. If you look at annual graphs of soil available K, September is traditionally the low point in the cycle, but norm...

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Soybean not a fan of bright lights/big cities

One of those oddities that I get a question or two about every fall. Why do soybean plants near street/highway lights stay green until frost? While corn plants love light and heat in their rush to harvest. Soybean plants are night owls. The soybean varieties we grow in Illinois are grouped by Maturity groups with groups II, III and IV being the most common in Central Illinois. Soybean p...

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Emergence well underway

The corn planted April 1 benefited from warmer than normal conditions and started emerging on April 16 and is now close to 100%. But colder temperatures over the last few days has slowed additional growth....

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First Corn Planting

No April Fools joke, corn planting started at the South Farm yesterday. Not very much, but for a couple of experiments looking at planting date, April 1 will be the first of several planting dates included. Heat units will not likely accumulate very fast but I will start tracking using the U2U Corn GDD tool. Average weather would predict emergence...

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Evaluating corn after frost

Making a replant decision after frost can be challenging. Which plants do you include in population counts, when evaluating a damaged corn stand? In 2012 a hard freeze hit the Corn Planting Date Study here at the CSREC, we took that opportunity to tag plants with different levels of damage and follow them to harvest. The bottom line is, if you don't see more than a hint of green after 5-7 days, it...

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April 27th Rainfall

From the Map it looks like most of Illinois south of I-72 received at least 1 inch of rain yesterday. That should get a lot of corn off to a good start....

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2014 County Corn Yields (NASS)
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2013 Corn and Soybean Yields

A few days ago, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the county corn and soybean production numbers. This annual event is often a source of bragging rights for which county had the highest corn and soybean yields. The top yielding corn county in 2013 was Carroll in northwestern Illinois with an average yield of 200 bushels per acre. For soybean, DeKalb took the honors wi...

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A Tree with Many Names and an Interesting History

It started with a phone call. The caller said "Several years ago a friend gave me some unusual fruit to put in my cabinet to keep away spiders. Can you tell me what it was and where I can get some more?" I am not sure how this call ended up with me but as a public servant I wanted to help, if I could. The caller could not supply much more information, so I started guessing. "Could it have been...

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New Corn Replanting Decision Aid

Deciding on whether or not to replant can be a difficult decision. Cutworm, compaction and seedling blight are some of the problems that can lead to reduced plant populations. The sight of an uneven reduced stand is often more than many farmers can take, but the desire to "fix-it" may not make sense agronomically or economically. For fields where the stand has been relatively evenly th...

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Field activity in the area

Last Thursday through Sunday saw much field preparation in the Champaign to Decatur area. There was a continuous shuttle of anhydrous tanks on country roads. In my travels I spotted, one large operation with 4 tracked tractors working in adjacent fields all pulling large applicators with two-tank anhydrous carts trailing behind.  A pair a planters were also working nearby....

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Aspergillus ear rot. Photo by Robert Bellm

Aflatoxin Alert

Pouring salt into a wound- Despite recent rains the drought continues to reduce the value of this year's corn crop. To some area farmers' dismay, elevators are rejecting truckloads of grain based on the detection of aflatoxin in the grain. Aflatoxin is a toxic and carcinogenic compound produced by the Aspergillus fungus. This ear rot fungus occurs most often in hot dry years. It will in...

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Cover crop seeding experiment

This summer/fall I have the opportunity to assist with a on-farm cover crop seeding trial. I am evaluating several different seeding methods from a ground-based applicator. The first few rounds were planted/seeded last week until a welcome rain stopped them. Some of the units have actual ground contact and lightly incorporate the seed. Looking at the strips this week shows some excelle...

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Short Crop-Long Tail or maybe Long Tales

"Short crop, long tail" is one of those catchy phrases that stick in your brain. I remember hearing it early in my Extension career after another drought year from one of our Crop Outlook and Marketing Specialists. Stories of the "drought of aught 12" will likely be told for years and "short crops have long tales" may also be accurate. As an agronomist I try to avoid economics, when pos...

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Drought Resource Website

The latest information from the University of Illinois on:  Dealing with Drought and Heat -  This site contains information on Crops, Livestock, Finances and Home & Garden web.extension.uiuc.edu/drought...

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Rootless Corn Syndrome

This spring, unlike the last few years, has been very dry in some parts of the state. Other areas have had more than they wished for. Unfortunately, reports about rootless corn are coming in from areas all around the state. The orange areas in the map below indicate the areas that have had the least rainfall for the last 30 days. The data comes from the National Weather Service's Ad...

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Million Dollar Rain?

It has been a dusty spring so far and moisture concerns have been on the rise. Rain over the last weekend has pushed back the short term concerns for most of the area....

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Dead plant between two relatively slightly damaged plants.
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Frost Follow-up

We generally advise that, prior to the 4 leaf-collar stage, frost will destroy leaf tissue, but the growing point is below ground and protected. The plants will be stressed but alive. The April 11th freeze was severely damaging to the corn planted on March 16th in our planting date study. On that clear night around 1:00am the temperature dropped below 32 degrees and did not cross back above the li...

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True Armyworm moth

Trapping Moths

Many of our agricultural insect pests do not overwinter in Illinois and have to migrate in every season. Monitoring that migration can supply us with information about how severe problems may be and when scouting should start. We currently have moth traps around the state monitoring the influx of Black Cutworm and True Armyworm moths. You can check results at this regional...

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March 16th planted corn the afternoon of March 11th after early morning frost.
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Frosty concerns

Surface temperatures all around the state dipped below freezing yesterday morning, March 11th. Jim Angel provided a list of the minimum temperatures on his blog . The Midwest Climate Center posted this map of the cold coverage:...

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Crop Insurance Defines, Planting Too Early

Crop insurance COMBO products, which include Yield Protection and Revenue Protection plans, have "earliest planting date" restrictions. For corn in Illinois, the earliest planting date is April 6th, except for counties in the extreme southern part of the state. For soybeans the crop insurance "earliest planting date" is April 21 for counties south of and included in a line from Carthage to Kankake...

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Is Fall Applied Nitrogen Still There?

Last year's good fall weather enabled many farmers to fall apply at least some of their nitrogen fertilizer. Due to warmer than normal soil temperatures, denitrifying soil bacteria stayed slightly active throughout the winter. Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Soil Fertility Specialist, wrote a great explanation about the implications of this weather on fall applied nitrogen in...

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Thursday, March 22,2012 first emergence of early planted corn
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Early Planting Update

*UPDATE*  The early planted corn in the planting date trial is emerging right on cue. Corn development research indicates it take approximately 115 growing degree days (GDD) after planting to see emergence. For the last 7 days we have been gaining about 18 GDD per day. Yesterday, March 22, at noon I could find just a few corn shoots peeking through and this morning they are popping up all over. Si...

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Early Planting Test

Emerson Nafziger is taking advantage of the mild weather to put some very early planting into his corn planting date research. The first round of plantings was done on March 16th. The unseasonably warm weather has pushed germination along rapidly. If the current forecasts hold, degree day accumulation suggest emergence by this Friday, March 23rd. Dr. Nafziger wrote an update to the...

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