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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
fieldwork2014 1

When will my corn emerge?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn Wheat

Several busy days at the NIARC. In addition to a number of primary and secondary tillage operations, the oat trials were planted. We also planted the second date of our corn date of planting study. Our crop rotation study that compares corn-soybean, corn-corn-soybean, and continuous corn rotations went into the ground yesterday. For those who have planted corn, when will it emerge? An e...

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NIARC fieldwork

We missed much of the rain that fell across northern Illinois last night allowing field activities to take place. In addition to several spring tillage operations, farm foreman Dave Lindgren applied nitrogen to plots that are expected to be planted to oats tomorrow. Research agronomist Greg Steckel and I flagged a crop rotation study. While the use of RTK and auto-steer have made planting research...

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Corn planting underway, some wheat fields terminated

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Several days reaching the 70's and nearly the 80's dried some fields enough to allow the first corn fields in northern Illinois to be planted. The warm temperature also provided enough heat units for most farmers to successfully evaluate their winter wheat fields. Several have been terminated in the last few days. Approximately 50% of the wheat variety trial plot at the NIARC suffered winter kill....

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Cover crop termination

Mother nature stepped up and successfully terminated most of the cover crop species planted at the NIARC in the fall of 2013. Some were expected to winter kill, some not. For the second consecutive year cereal rye was the only cover crop that successfully overwintered at our location. Dr. Aaron Hager, University of Illinois Weeds Specialist shared information for producers looking to chemically te...

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Wheat root pathogen survey

Posted by Russel Higgins - Wheat

A current project under the direction of Dr. Carl Bradley, University of Illinois Extension Plant Pathologist, is a survey of root pathogens in wheat across Illinois. Graduate student Kaitlyn Bissonnette is collecting plants and soil samples that will be evaluated further on campus. Today she and Kelsy Krausz braved the windy conditions of northern Illinois to pull samples. I participated in sever...

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Snow on the stalks

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Surprise! Mid April and farmers awoke to a fresh coat of snow on many northern Illinois fields. Fortunately the white covering was short lived. On Monday NASS released the planting progress report. As expected, very little corn is planted in the state. Illinois has 1 % of the corn crop planted as of April 13th. However, as we learned last year, a lot of corn can go in the ground very quickly when...

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Managing crop residue

Posted by Russel Higgins -

The middle of April and a weather influenced slowdown in field activities in northern Illinois. Don’t put the jackets away just yet! Over the weekend several fields did have anhydrous applied but any type of spraying was absolutely out of the question. At the end of last week daily maximum wind gusts recorded by the Illinois State Water Survey were 36.7 mph in DeKalb County and 53.7 mph in Step...

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2014 corn date of planting study

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Despite the ominous weather forecast for the upcoming week, we planted our first corn of 2014 in our date of planting study in surprisingly good soil conditions. We will attempt to plant at two week intervals for three additional dates. Due to weather challenges our entire study last year was compressed into the month of May. In the study we plant a full season and shorter season varieties. An add...

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The seed is here!

Posted by Russel Higgins - Corn

As with any farming operation, the excitement starts to build when the seed for the upcoming growing season arrives. Recent field activities at the NIARC included chopping corn stalks for the crop residue study and harvesting Miscanthus for our grass bio-fuel project. Last week Dr. Mike Gray, University of Illinois entomologist, shared that two additional northern Illinois counties have...

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Scout winter wheat fields

This would be a great time to visit your wheat fields, for a number of reasons. If you have not applied your spring nitrogen you can evaluate field conditions prior to application as well as scout the density of winter annual weeds in the fields. The few northern Illinois winter wheat fields that were planted in late September and the first week of October appear to...

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