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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. Aerial picture of the USB-sponsored Commercial SDS Variety Trial at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center in Monmouth in 2016. The difference in variety maturity is evident in this picture. Moving left to right are varieties in Early MG II, Late MG II, Early MG III and Late MG III. Many varieties in the Early II MGs are mature, many of those in the Late II MGs are nearing maturity, while those in MG III are not as far along.
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2016 SDS Commercial Variety Test Results Available

This past growing season, as part of a United Soybean Board-funded effort, personnel from Southern Illinois University, Iowa State University and University of Illinois evaluated more than 580 soybean varieties from 22 seed companies in sudden death syndrome (SDS) variety trials. The varieties that were evaluated ranged from the very early (MG 0) to late (MG V) maturity groups. Maturity groups...

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Figure. Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center personnel till a corn field after harvest.
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Did the recent rains delay your plans to till the soil for a 2017 soybean crop? You might be glad they did.

In 1995, a long-term research trial was established at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center (NWIARDC) to study the effects of crop rotation and tillage on corn, soybean and wheat yields and cropping system profitability. There are many factors that go into making the decision about which row crops to grow in a particular region: soil types, growing region and climate, grain prices and th...

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Registration now open for the 2017 Regional Crop Management Conferences

Registration is open for the 2017 Crop Management Conferences. These regional conferences provide a forum for discussion and interaction between participants and university researchers and are designed to address a wide array of topics pertinent to crop production in Illinois: crop management, pest management, nutrient management, soil and water management. Certified Crop Advisers can e...

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Figure. Daily soil temperatures at 4 inches under sod and bare soil at the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Ctr. in Monmouth in 2016 (Data Source: WARM).
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Fall Nitrogen: Strategies to Hang onto it Until the 2017 Crop Needs it

Progress: Harvest and other Fall Operations. For the week ending November 6, the USDA's National Ag Statistics Service estimates that 95 percent of the corn and 92 percent of the soybeans in the Western Illinois crop reporting district have been harvested (...

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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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