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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Hit and miss

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Rainfall is being fickle in 2012, some farmers and fields have been more fortunate than others as we finish the month of June. An impressive storm front came over the NIARC Friday morning but the resulting rainfall, while welcome, was less than hoped for. Retired University of Illinois Extension Crops Educator Dale Baird reported .8 inches of rain near Franklin Grove but high winds overnight ha...

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Hot!

Posted by Russel Higgins -

As of 4 p.m. the recorded temperature at the NIARC reached 95.7 degrees. Outside of my home office in Morris we hit triple digits at 4:30 p.m. recording 100 degrees. As a result of the warm temperatures we continue a rapid pace of growing degree day accumulation and will soon begin tasseling in our earlier planted corn fields. One thing that will be very apparent is that we will have shorter co...

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Early wheat harvest at the NIARC

Posted by Russel Higgins -

One of the earliest winter wheat harvests ever is underway at the NIARC. Yield data will be posted at the Illinois Variety Testing site when it is compiled. http://vt.cropsci.illinois.edu/ More soil sampling, hoeing of weeds, and shoveling the last of our 2011 soybean crop out of the bin. Next time we will order a cooler day for thes...

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Hot temperatures, hot herbicides!

As the temperatures rachet back up we are noticing various reactions by our crops to post herbicide applications. A certain amount of crop injury is expected with some herbicide families like the diphenyl ethers (can you pick the treated plots in our high yield soybean study?) We are also seeing bronzing and yellowing with other herbicides that are not normally known for crop injury, including...

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High yield soybeans

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Despite a dry weekend, depriving the soybean of what it really needs, today was spent making applications to our high yield soybean study. Today we sprayed treatments with Cobra and added ESN and Urea coated with agrotain at the V4 stage to to others. An end of the day project was pulling soil samples to be analyzed for nematodes in corn fields. Tim Eisman, our summer help, helped provide the musc...

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Extension visitors

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Friday was an enjoyable day; I had the opportunity to reconnect with several extension co-workers and volunteers in northern Illinois. We visited on how to best serve our commercial agriculture audience and they received a tour and update on the activities at the NIARC. Those making the trek to Shabbona and the counties represented included Margaret Larson, Nikki Keltner and Jackie de Batista...

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Great evening for NIARC tour

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Mother nature did not supply the moisture that would be beneficial but she did provide a beautiful evening for a field tour at the NIARC. Several campus specialists joined us at the Northern Illinois small grains meeting to share their insight into the growing season as it related to small grains. Dr. Emerson Nafziger shared that weather that is not necessarily good for corn and soybean, a dry May...

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Windshield survey

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Like any good agriculturist I enjoy traveling through rural areas and crop scouting via the "windshield method". While we certainly do not condone such scouting as accurate enough to apply economic thresholds, it does make driving more enjoyable. Today I noticed an abnormal number of insects bouncing off my windshield. One of the unlucky beetles was ensnared on my windshield wiper which allowed...

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Tropical Tuesday

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Trying to study roots is challenging because, well, roots are normally underground and hard to measure. But not impossible, Dr. Darin Eastburn and his crew (including masters student Liwei Wen, undergrad Jeff Hausen, and Nan Jang) dug plants, cleaned roots and prepared the plants for travel back to campus where the roots will be measured for length, diameter and number of root tips. This is par...

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Hot and windy!

Posted by Russel Higgins -

.3 inches of rain over the weekend, we would have appreciated more but will take anything we can get. Gardeners can appreciate the challenge facing Dr. Adam Davis's crew. They have planted (and replanted) hundreds of weed seedlings to determine the weeds competitiveness once they become established. But until that time they are making trip after trip with the watering cans trying to keep the se...

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Deadlines, meetings and (lack of) rain

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Yesterday I shared information on the upcoming Northern Illinois Agronomy day on July 10th. For those who have an interest in small grains a more immediate opportunity exists. Wheat and other small grains producers across the state are invited to attend the 2012 Northern Illinois Small Grains Program, June 21 at 5:30 p.m., at the University of Illinois Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center in...

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NIARC Field Day - July 10th

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Plan to attend the Northern Illinois Research Center Field Day Got problems? Find the answers at the 2012 Northern Illinois Research Center Field Day. Learn about the latest crop sciences research being conducted on Tuesday, July 10th. Producers and agricultural industry representatives are invited to attend the morning program. Join University of Illinois Exten...

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Root of the problem

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Through the weekend we waited for much needed moisture that was to arrive on Monday. Anxiously we watched the radar as the front moved eastward across northern Illinois only to be disappointed when the system broke apart and the "rainmaker" clouds passed overhead sharing no precipitation. What does this mean to crops at the NIARC and elsewhere in northern Illinois? Moisture is needed to...

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No one wants to mention the d word

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Most in northern Illinois are hoping the rain that is forecast early next week materializes. It is too early to suggest a drought but it is apparent as I performed a "windshield survey" in today's travels that we are moving closer to that status. I noticed corn that was starting to wrap, granted it was in the headland and may have been exacerbated by compaction, but all would appreciate a timel...

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One thing is certain

Posted by Russel Higgins -

One thing is certain as research projects continue at the NIARC, all of the crops would benefit greatly with some moisture. As mentioned previously, we have late emerging corn and soybean from our mid to late May plantings that are struggling. Weeds are showing no issue with the limited rainfall and are growing rapidly. Giant ragweed is 4-5" in several herbicide plots and appea...

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Francis Childs Lite

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn Weeds

One research project at the NIARC has been dubbed "Francis Childs Lite", a nod to the Iowa farmer who set a world record for corn yield of 442 bushels in 2002. Our study is comparing tillage systems, N-rate, fungicides, and fertility systems. Dave Lindgren side-dressed 32% in that experiment today. Also today we planted soybean in our date of planting study. This is our final scheduled planting fo...

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Later planting = spotty emergence at NIARC

Posted by Russel Higgins -

One would normally expect emergence to be a non issue as crops are planted later in the growing season and into warmer soils. In 2012 we experienced localized poor emergence in our late planted crops (May 15th or later) due to the dry soil conditions in the seed placement zone. Further investigation revealed that two of our row units planted between 3/8 and 1/2" shallower (despite identical settin...

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Rainy morning, active afternoon

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weeds

Light rain in the morning did little to dampen activities at the NIARC, by mid morning we were able to apply post herbicides on V4 corn, and soil samples were collected from one of the entomology studies. The most colorful activity of the day was accomplished by Vince Filiceti, a researcher for Dr. Adam Davis. Vince had the task of marking locations for future weeds to be planted in a continuation...

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Sidedressing nitrogen

Posted by Russel Higgins -

With our recent rain much of the corn in northern Illinois has reached a critical time for sidedress application of nitrogen if nitrogen has not been provided in another form. Recent questions that reached Dr.Fabian Fernandez at the University of Illinois included the need and the procedure necessary for collecting pre-sidedress nitrate tests. Fabians response was that in a year when nitrogen loss...

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