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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. County average cropland cash rental rates (for non-irrigated land) for 2016 and compared to 2014 (the value within parentheses) (Data source: USDA-NASS).

Deadline Looms for Many Land Leases: Did Falling Rental Rates Between 2014 and 2016 Ensure Farm Profitability?

Cash rents: Popular topic in county Extension offices. By and large, the number one questions fielded in rural county extension offices relate to land rental rates. As many of the 2016 cropping-year leases are currently under review for 2017, many farmers and land-owners are currently negotiating land lease terms for the 2017 growing season. Rather than relying on strictly-verb...

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Figure. Results of a corn planting date trial at the NWIARDC in Monmouth in 2016. Note that planting dates with the same letters are not statistically different.

Results: 2016 Corn planting date x fungicide trial

Each year personnel at the Northwestern Illinois Ag Research & Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) in Monmouth establish a corn planting date trial. In 2016 the same 110-day corn hybrid was planted at the same seeding rate (35,000 seeds/A) and planting depth (1.75 inches) at one of four planting dates in plots 8 rows wide and 100 feet long ( Table ). Each plot was split in half le...

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Figure. A camera located above a sampling probe helps workers in the scale house at a grain elevator in Western Illinois collect samples.

Collecting Grain Samples: Updating P + K Grain Removal Rates

Crop plants have needs that must be met in order for them to grow and reproduce. They need water, sunlight, CO 2 , above-ground space and some sort of matrix into which to extend their roots. Additionally, to meet the needs that are above and beyond what is provided by the seed, plants require nutrients in varying quantities. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are considere...

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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 AgriSafeā„¢ 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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