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The North 160 Acres

Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center
2015 date of planting corn

Initial results, 2015 corn date of planting and fungicide application

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn
A sincere thank you to the men and women who have, or are, currently serving in the military on this eleventh day of the eleventh month, Veterans Day. As we near mid-November harvest nears completion in Northern Illinois. Tillage operations are underway and fall anhydrous can now safely be applied when soil conditions permit; soil temperatures in northern Illinois are registering around...

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Will Tar spot overwinter in northern Illinois?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weather
In earlier posts we shared that Tar spot, specifically caused by Phyllachora maydis, had been confirmed in Illinois. We are now trying to determine if the fungus will survive our winter months. A trial was established in cooperation with Dr. Santiago Mideros, University of Illinois plant pathologist. Corn leaves exhibiting Tar spot symptoms were collected and placed in mesh bags. Samples...

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Palmer amaranth confirmed in Stephenson County

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weeds
It is not quite time to close the chapter on the 2015 growing season in northern Illinois. A late season discovery of Palmer amaranth in a Stephenson county field should encourage area farmers to rethink weed management plans for 2016. After notification from an area agronomist, Stephenson County Extension staff collected and delivered amaranth samples to the lab of Dr. Patrick Tranel on the Un...

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Tar spot confirmed in Northern Illinois

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn
Harvest season is slowly getting underway in Northern Illinois, but the growing season that has thrown so many things at area farmers had one more surprise. A disease that previously had not been found on the continental US was verified first in Indiana, and then confirmed in northern Illinois. Corn leaf samples from three northern Illinois counties have been confirmed positive for the fungus P...

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Cover crops interseeded - waiting for rain!

Posted by Russel Higgins -
This week we interseeded cover crop species into our corn and soybean crops. Our corn was allowing sufficient light to reach the ground and with adequate rainfall we are optimistic about germination. Our soybean crop is still green but we learned last year the crop can yellow and drop leaves quickly. Understanding the importance of rainfall on surface applied seed and with precipitation in the for...

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Troubled corn in northeast Illinois

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn
On August 12th the National Agricultural Statistics Service projected the Illinois corn yield at 172 bushels per acre. That, and better yields, will be harvested in many areas of the state. However, reaching that goal will be a challenge in much of northeastern Illinois. June rainfall totals that neared or surpassed 18 inches and flooded or saturated soils prevented root system development that wo...

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Weeds Kub

Late season weeds

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weeds
This has been a challenging year to control weeds in corn and soybean fields in northern Illinois. In some fields early season rains prevented intended soil applied herbicides. Our wettest June on record compounded issues by delaying post applications. Drowned out areas in fields are now  populating with weeds including pigweed species, Giant ragweed and grasses. With much of the grain fill period...

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