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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Figure. Corn harvested at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center in Monmouth in 2016. Healthy corn is on the left and corn with Diplodia ear mold symptoms and signs is on the right. (Source: Marty Johnson, Senior Research Specialist)

Diplodia ear mold at harvest: What can be done now?

Diplodia Symptoms and Machinery Adjustments at Harvest. Diplodia ear mold can cause lightweight kernels with a dull grey to brownish color and sometimes small black structures call pycnidia ( Figure ). The infected kernels are prone to breakage and can result in poor test weights, poor grain quality and fine materials in the hopper or grain bin. Adjusting combine...

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Figure. First-year Palmer amaranth infestations are unlikely to look like the one captured by former Extension Educator Robert Bellm in this soybean field near St. Louis. The crop producer intended to mow this field in an effort to minimize additions to the soil weed seed bank.

Make Preparations for Encountering Palmer Amaranth During Harvest

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weeds
Scouting from the Cab. While crop producers are encouraged to scout their corn and soybean fields throughout the entire growing season, the view of a field from the vantage point of a combine cab can be eye-opening, particularly when harvesting corn. One thing that can become abundantly clear is just how well the weed management strategy for the year kept weeds in check...

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Celebrate National Farm Safety Week (Sept. 18-24): Brush Up with One or More Free Webinar

To celebrate National Farm Safety Week a series of seven webinars health and safety-related webinars will be offered by the AgriSafe™ Network, a non-profit national membership organization, represents health professionals and educators who are concerned about the health and safety of farm families. Monday, Sept. 19, 12-1 PM: Respiratory Protection for Agricultural Producers...

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Figure. Scouting plants for lodging potential is time well spent. For the push test, at waist height push plants 30 degrees from vertical to see if they return to an upright position and the stalk remains intact. To avoid having to harvest downed corn, it is recommended to harvest first those fields in which 10-15% of the plants fail the push test.

Pinch or Push Your Corn: Scouting for Lodging Potential

Stalk rots can reduce yields. Stalk rots can decrease harvestable yield - literally leaving some ears on the ground. Corn plants are top-heavy and stalk rots increase the chance that plants will fall over (lodge) due to a combination of gravity and weather. Conditions that favor stalk rots. Mid-season environmental conditions that favor kernel-set follo...

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Figure. Symptoms associated with lesion mimic mutations are often indistinguishable from pathogen-caused diseases. Frequency of symptomatic plants within a field can help to narrow down a diagnosis.

One of these plants is not like the others…… Context clues and disease diagnosis.

Posted by Angie Peltier - Disease
A lone symptomatic plant. Nearly every growing year in at least one corn field at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural R & D Center, a lone plant can be observed exhibiting symptoms that look like those in the photo above ( Figure ). Round-ish, tan spots ranging in size from tiny specks to ½ inch in diameter cover many leaves of the plant. These spots begin...

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Figure. Foliar symptoms of bacterial leaf streak showing long lesions with wavy margins and halo visible with backlighting.  Photo courtesy of Scott Schirmer Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Plant Regulatory Official.

Bacterial Leaf Streak: A New Disease in Illinois Corn

Posted by Angie Peltier - Disease
Corn survey reveals positive sample in DeKalb County. Several weeks ago in cooperation with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), personnel from University of Illinois Extension, the Illinois Natural History Survey's Coordinated Agricultural Pest Survey and Illinois Department of Agriculture conducted a survey of production corn fields in two-thirds of...

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Figure. Fall armyworms collected in a pheromone trap at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center near Monmouth in 2016.

Fall Armyworms in Western Illinois: Is Your Pasture at Risk?

Monitoring insect populations. Insect pheromone traps are monitored throughout the growing season at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R & D Center in Monmouth. Pheromones are insect hormones that attract individuals of the opposite sex for mating purposes. In our traps a small piece of rubber is impregnated with a pheromone specific to the insect we are trying to monitor. The t...

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