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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Rained out

Posted by Russel Higgins -

It has been weeks since we had enough rainfall to keep us out of the field, but that is the case on this last day of April. Despite early planting on several of our plots, the only crop currently emerged is our March 29th planted corn. With our recent moisture and the upturn in temperatures expected later this week we expect this to change. We continue to catch Black cutworm moths in our traps at...

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And they call the wind ...

Posted by Russel Higgins -

I know there is a song that contains those words, but I cannot remember the remainder of the verses. Nonetheless we are thinking a few words of our own for the wind that is hampering our spraying and making plot work unpleasant. A very busy week at the NIARC. In addition to plots we planted for Dr. Emerson Nafziger and Dr. Forrest Troyer, a number of campus researchers were on hand for their pr...

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Today's activities

Posted by Russel Higgins -

The predicted rain did not appear today, we planted corn in our crop rotation study. We are evaluating continuous corn and corn-corn-soybean, corn-soybean rotations. The flags are indicators of what will be planted. orange- 2nd year corn yellow - first year corn white - soybean...

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Ron and Nick

Busy days!

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Planting took place almost from sunup to sundown at the NIARC yesterday. Our first soybean went into the ground and several crews from campus traveled north to plant plots. Darin Joos and his team connected with corn variety testing started last night and is currently on site finishing their plot work. Ron Estes and Nick Tinsley from entomology put in a long day, planting their insect...

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Very little drying

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Trying to plant research plots in accordance with a calendar date can be a challenge. We are ready, the planter is ready, and the soil is not. Not much drying with a daytime high around 50 degrees. The first soybean planted at the NIARC may have to wait another day. Many growers in northern Illinois are using a soil applied herbicide on their soybean acres in 2012. For most, this is a change from...

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Planting continues

Posted by Russel Higgins -

We planted the second date of corn planting and plan on starting our soybean date of planting trials today at the NIARC. Cloudy sky's but no measurable rainfall, I did pull a jacket back out of my car. For those who had corn above ground that was affected by last weeks sub freezing temperatures, Dr. Nafziger authored an article on frost and emerged corn. It was published in this weeks Illinois Bul...

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corn emerging

Emergence

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn

Weather conditions have returned closer to "normal". This morning the NIARC soil temperature at 4" under bare soil registered 48.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The decrease in temperatures has slowed emergence in corn fields. Our early corn planted on March 29th emerged on Monday April 16th, an 18 day window. Despite the less than ideal soil temperature we are nearing the optimum time to plant corn in nort...

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Indoor activities

Posted by Russel Higgins -

The weekend storms brought another round of significant Black cutworm catches in northern Illinois. 20 moths were captured in the trap at the NIARC joining significant catches reported by Dale Baird and Jim Morrison. The catches can be observed in the PIPE system web site. http://apps.csi.iastate.edu/pipe/ The windy day gave me...

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Rain here and there, but not everywhere

Posted by Russel Higgins -

A weekend when we were almost guaranteed rain resulted in plenty of corn planting before some of Northern Illinois benefited from rainfall while other areas received little or none. One of my favorite days of the year, I had the privilege on Friday to attend the Illinois Extension Agriculture Association retiree's luncheon held in Oregon. This year a number of individuals who had served as Coun...

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Frost in the morning, planting in the afternoon

I'm sure it has happened before, but I cannot remember planting after experiencing morning frosts. Our March 29 planted corn has a 1"coleoptile working its way to the soil surface. Our soil has crusted and the future seedlings would benefit greatly with some rainfall. Today we set stakes for our second planting date for corn (April 20th), it is of interest that there will be numerous corn acres pl...

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Alfalfa and frost

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Dean Oswald, former Illinois Extension adviser and now a Forage/Grazing Specialist with Midwest Grass & Forage shared the following timely link to a 2005 Iowa State article on frost and alfalfa. The article, authored by Dr. Steve Barnhart stated that alfalfa that has been subjected to a light frost  (27° to 31° F) has varying effects on the alfalfa plant.  From the article; "Leaves on new alfa...

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At the mercy of the weather

Posted by Russel Higgins -

I woke this morning to the rumbling of the furnace, and was further reminded of variable Illinois April weather when I had to return to the house and get a heavier jacket before doing the morning chores. High winds for a second day have stopped most spray operations from taking place. This morning wind speed measured at the NIARC is averaging near 19 mph with gusts reaching 29 mph. We received our...

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Winter wheat at Feekes 5, considering a herbicide?

Posted by Russel Higgins -

The winter wheat at the NIARC is currently at Feekes 5. If you plan on applying a herbicide to control weeds in your winter wheat, now is the time for most herbicides. Read the label before mixing and applying herbicides....

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Black cutworm

Black cutworms at NIARC

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn

The Black cutworm pheromone trap at the NIARC was set on Thursday April 5th. We consider 9 cutworms caught over a two day period to be a significant catch. Our count on this Monday after Easter was 18! There are here! Once our planted corn emerges we should be scouting weekly for cutworm damage. Last Thursday Dr. Mike Gray, University of Illinois Extension entomologist issued a ne...

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Return to normal?

Posted by Russel Higgins -

It was a chilly one last night, Overnight temperatures dropped to 26.6 degrees F. Temperatures stayed below freezing for over six hours until 8 am. The following information is courtesy of  the NOAA\CRN weather station located on the NIARC and shares temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius at the site. This information along with hourly precipitation can be accessed at the following URL....

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Underground growth

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn

That period of time between planting and seed emergence can be a trying time for most farmers, it is much easier to keep an eye on the crop (at least the topgrowth) after emergence. Corn planted at the NIARC on March 29th has germinated and has about a 1/4 inch radicle. In an earlier news release Emerson Nafzigar shared that it takes about 115 growing degree days (GDD) to get corn plants to emerg...

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Whats that weed?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weeds

I thought this may be a fun occasional topic for the North 160 Acres blog. Weed management always starts with recognizing the weeds present or the weeds you expect to control. Yesterday I was asked to identify a yellow flowered weed that was present in a local field. Without seeing the plant, my first thought was a plant in the mustard family. Closer inspection to the plant actually gave it away a...

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early planted corn 2012

Early planted corn?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn

Our first trial (corn planting date) went in the ground March 29th, ahead of thunderstorms that did not materialize. The study will include two hybrids x four planting dates x with and without fungicides. The scheduled planting dates for the study are April 1 April 20 May 10 May 30...

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