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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Storms to the east

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Harvest progress continues to take place at the NIARC. For the first time this year I bundled in an extra jacket to battle the wind I thought longingly back to this summer. Perhaps the heat wasn't that bad after all. Today we harvested the corn date of planting study and I collected harvest populations. Like many I have tried to keep current with the news from the east coast. Hurricane Sandy has p...

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Last week of October

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Several quick observations as we near November; Dr. Glen Hartman's group found Soybean rust at the University of Illinois Variety Testing site in Jackson County last week. The find this late in the year will certainly have limited yield implications, but does serve as a reminder to remain diligent in future growing seasons. We established cover crop trials at the NIARC on October 1st in soybean st...

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A change in the weather

Posted by Russel Higgins -

We could have not asked for nicer days in October. Our broadcast cover crops have emerged. We returned to the field today, just a little greasy, and harvested corn plots (herbicide trials) until a broken belt put an end the activities. We will soon be pulling soil samples for nitrate evaluation if the rain holds off. For those considering fall application of anhydrous, soil temperatures can be acc...

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How about those beans?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

One of the pleasant surprises for some farmers this year in areas of northern Illinois has been soybean yields. Reported field averages have ranged from the 50's up to 80 bushel an acre. Certainly not what we expected when we looked at the soybean crop in early August after a very hot and dry July. Some may remember earlier this year that I voiced my concern over the number of pods per plant. T...

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Morning rush!

Posted by Russel Higgins -

More projects were finished today before the afternoon rains moved in. The Palmer amaranth/Shattercane soybean competition study was hand harvested. The corn portion of the crop rotation and a nitrogen study were also completed. Late, to be sure, but before the rain we seeded cover crops on corn stubble. Much later than normally recommended, we will learn if this seeding has value in northern Illi...

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A drying day

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn

Mostly sunny and winds gusting up to 30 mph have prevented us from accomplishing several projects we had hoped to complete, but it certainly is favorable weather for drying. We flagged our cover crops after corn, and harvested the corn variety trials and several corn herbicide trials today. We have been surprised by most yields, some in the 180 to 200 bushel range....

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Midway through October

Posted by Russel Higgins -

After the weekend rain, ¾ of an inch at the NIARC, activities started to resume this afternoon. For those currently involved in fall tillage operations, the rain may ease the diesel required and the wear on chisel points. It is always interesting to read views from our neighboring states. Today I came across an article authored by Dr. Tony Vyn, Purdue Extension agronomist sharing an interesting...

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Plot harvest progress

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

This week we are completing harvest of our soybean trials at the NIARC. In the last two days we finished our high yield soybean study, our enzyme coated soybean, and our maturity x planting date study. A normal harvested plot size at the NIARC is 5 ft. X 18 - 25 ft. Soybeans yields are ranging from the low 50's to high 70's in plots that have been harvested. The October 9 th I...

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Weather news

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

We are entering our second full week of October at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center and it is certainly starting to feel like fall. Overnight temperatures dropped to under 25 degrees over the weekend. However, that was not our first killing frost at this site in 2012. That took place on September 23rd, according to Dave Lindgren our Farm Foreman and weather recorder. It was the se...

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Left-over nitrogen?

A very unusual occurrence took place at the NIARC today (at least for 2012), we were rained out from field activities late in the afternoon. For those in northern Illinois who experienced poor corn yields, there is a good chance that some of the nitrogen that was applied to meet the requirements of a normal crop is still there. It is likely that the the nitrogen is now in the nitrate form in the s...

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Cover crops

Posted by Russel Higgins -

The Department of Crop Sciences and Extension have partnered in a cover crop project at four of the agronomy research centers (Champaign, Brownstown, Monmouth and DeKalb). We expect this to be the start of a multi-year project and look forward to gathering useful information for Illinois growers. We realize we have gotten a late start in 2012 (at least in the north) but plan to proceed with the...

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October harvest in full swing at NIARC

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

Blog entries have been limited in the last week, but not activities at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center. In the last few days we have planted winter wheat trials, planted a new cover crop study and opened soybean trial plots for harvest. Tomorrow we will be harvesting soybean varieties and other studies. Greg Steckel has been spending time mastering the nuances of the soybean pl...

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