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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. Herbicide injury symptoms on corn at the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center in May, 2016.
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Cold, Cloudy, Wet Weather May = Herbicide Injury in Corn in 2016

Injury symptoms on corn plants. While passing by on the way to plant a bulk soybean field on Tuesday, personnel at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) noticed that plants in one of the center's corn fields didn't look so hot ( Figures ). The crop was planted on April 16 and sprayed on April 25 before emergence....

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Figure. Black cutworm. Note the small, black dagger-shaped marking on each outer wing.
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Black Cutworm Flights Not 'Following the Rules' in 2016

Posted by Angie Peltier - Insects
In cooperation with Kelly Estes of the Illinois Natural History Survey, every April personnel at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) maintain a pheromone trap to monitor black cutworm (BCW) moths. Pheromones, or the sex hormones that are produced by female BCW moths, are impregnated into small rubber lures that are placed in the center of a sticky...

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Figure. Uneven crop development and poor populations were observed in corn plots planted on March 8, 2016.
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March 8 corn planted at either 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 or 3.0 inches deep – Effects on crop development and population

On May 17, Ryan Farmer, a student hourly worker at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) collected stand count data from a demonstration trial that had been planted more than 2 months earlier. On an unseasonably warm March 8 day NWIARDC personnel decided to see just how wise it is to plant that early in the Monmouth area. Needing to calibrate...

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Figure. Raised, black ascoma characteristic of tar spot of corn (photo source: Russ Higgins, University of Illinois Extension).
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Corn Disease Update - Tar Spot

Posted by Angie Peltier - Disease
This article was also submitted to the Illinois AgriNews by Angie Peltier and Russ Higgins, University of Illinois Extension Educators: Last September tar spot, a corn disease that had not been previously found in the continental US, was confirmed in corn samples collected in Indiana and in several northern Illinois counties.This disease occurred late enough in the growing season t...

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Figure. Photo taken on May 10 of corn that had been planted on April 5 in a planting date trial at the NWIARDC.
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Planting and Crop Progress

State and Region. According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service corn planting and emergence and soybean planting in Illinois have progressed faster than the running 5-year average (2011-2015, Figure). Similar to in 2015, the nine counties that make up the western Illinois crop reporting district lead the state in both corn and soybean planting, with 94 percen...

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Figure. Flowering henbit in a Western IL field (photo credit: Angie Peltier, April 22, 2016)

Timely weed management is essential

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weeds
Many may remember the 2015 growing season as the one in which the weeds took over in many Western Illinois soybean (and some corn) fields. Abnormally wet weather led to saturated soils that were impassible for long periods of time before post-emergence herbicides were applied. Weeds were extra thick in those fields that relied on a post-emergence-only weed management plan. Whatever the factors...

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Figure. Stripe rust in winter wheat, Madison County, IL, April 20, 2016 (photo credit: Robert Bellm).

Stripe Rust Observed in Madison County Wheat

Retired commercial agriculture Extension educator Robert Bellm observed stripe rust yesterday in several wheat fields in Madison County ( Figure ). Rust pathogens are obligate parasites, meaning that they need a living host in order to survive. Wind and rain systems from further south bring spores to our area. This is why rust sightings in states to the South and in S...

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