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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
green corn road

August report for northern Illinois, green ditches and green corn

Posted by Russel Higgins -

When its mid to late August in northern Illinois and the corn and the ditches are both green, that is usually a positive for expected yields. The 2014 corn and soybean crop are taking a leisurely trip to maturity. This is in part due to recent below normal temperatures coupled with delayed planting dates. Utilizing the Illinois State Water Survey water and atmospheric resources monitoring program and inputting May 1st as a planting date with DeKalb as a weather collection site (using data collected on site at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center) we have reached 1833 base 50 growing degree days in northern Illinois. Nearly 100 GDU's behind the 11 year average. Cooler weather is not necessarily a bad thing for our corn crop, the recent weather pattern extends the time the plant requires to reach maturity and can provide additional days dedicated to grain fill. I would be interested in hearing from some of our area farmers, but most of the northern Illinois corn fields I have been in over the last week are in the late milk or early dough stage, also described as stages R3 and R4. Kernel moisture is approximately 80 and 70% in these respective stages. Research from Purdue University suggests we are 46 to 36 days from R6. Allowing several more days for additional drying from the Physiological maturity moisture of 30%, it seems likely that very few corn acres will be harvested in northern Illinois prior to October 1. A side note, many of the corn fields I have been in are goose necked to some degree. It will be well worth a farmers time to check the standability of different hybrids and schedule harvest accordingly, starting with those hybrids most likely to lodge.


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