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Angie Peltier


Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture



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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Harvest
Figure. Small black specks (pycnidia) can help in diagnosing Diplodia ear mold.
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Scouting shouldn't end until after harvest

Scouting is a season-long commitment, beginning before planting (measuring soil temperature and assessing condition), continues after planting (assessing plant stands and then scouting for disease, insect and weed pressure) only ending after the crop has been harvested. Late season scouting of corn can include monitoring kernels for maturity (black layer) and moisture content and checki...

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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. Bleached or tan colored husk leaves associated with Diplodia ear mold.
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Disease Alert: Diplodia ear mold in 2016

Symptoms and signs of Diplodia ear mold. In the past couple of weeks, symptoms of ear mold have popped up at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center. While most fields have rows upon rows of healthy-looking husk leaves enveloping plump ears, in some fields individual ears stand out as the husk leaves are a bleached or tan color ( Figure ). Upon peeling back t...

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Figure. Thick, white, moldy fungal growth characteristic of Diplodia ear mold caused by Stenocarpella maydis (photo: Dr. Carl Bradley, University of Kentucky).
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Moldy ears at harvest – Diplodia ear mold in Western Illinois

Corn ears are thought to be most susceptible to infection by Stenocarpella maydis , the fungus that causes Diplodia ear mold, in the 3 weeks after silking (milk stage), when the silks begin to die. Fungal spores are rain-splash disseminated onto the crop from residue from previously infected crops. In 2015 in western Illinois, corn planted between April 5 and 15 reached silking at the...

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Figure. An aeration fan attached to a grain bin. This fan dries grain very slowly as it pulls in air at ambient temperatures and moistures.

Decision points: Economics of grain drying and storage

Since last Friday daily wind speeds have averaged between 5.9 and 11.6 mph at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research & Demonstration Center. Warmer high temperatures and breezy weather through tomorrow and most of Thursday provide ideal conditions for in-field grain drying. Many crop producers in Western Illinois have begun their corn harvest. Recent conversations have indi...

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USDA Crop Production Summary Confirms Record Illinois Corn and Soybean Harvest

Posted by Angie Peltier - Harvest

Crop Production Summaries. At the end of each harvest season, the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Survey undertakes a County Agricultural Production Survey (CAPS) targeting all of the farms in each of the 44 participating states. Through mail-surveys and follow-up mail surveys or phone interviews, crop producers provide information that is used t...

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Figure. An aeration fan attached to a grain bin. This fan dries grain very slowly as it pulls in air at ambient temperatures and moistures.

Grain drying and storage

On rainy days this time of the year thoughts center around how quickly the rain will end and grain dry, how quickly soil will dry enough to be fit for harvest to get back into full swing. Other thoughts might be on grain drying, marketing and storage. It may be time well spent to check out " Corn Drying and Storage 2014...

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Figure. Comparing the estimated percent corn harvest progress in the Western IL Crop Reporting District in 2014 to 5- and 10-year averages(data source: USDA/NASS).
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How do 2014 crop maturity and harvest compare to 5- and 10-year averages?

Note: click on photo to enlarge or see caption. Crop maturity. As corn plants require heat in order to grow and develop, the cooler than normal temperatures that occurred throughout the...

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Figure. Palmer amaranth in a soybean field in Kankakee County, Illinois, 2013. The height of the plants can be compared to the mature corn in the background. (Photo credit: Dr. Aaron Hager).
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New "Weed Science" article supports zero tolerance strategy for Palmer amaranth

My fellow Commercial Agriculture – Crops Extension Educator Robert Bellm sent me a recently released article in Weed Science written by Norsworthy et al. (2014) . This article details the results of research designed to study the in-field spread of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth over time. Palmer amaranth seeds travel. A single Palmer amaranth pla...

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Center sign

Upcoming Program - 2013: A Research Year in Review

Have you always wondered what happened at the University of Illinois' Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center just outside of Monmouth on 210 th Avenue? To find out, join us at the Monmouth Country Club (1451 E. 3rd Avenue) at 1 p.m. on March 11 th for 2013: A Research Year in Review . We will be...

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Figure. Adult wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) (Image credit: Keith Weller, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org).
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Wild turkeys: Delicious fowl or scourge of the row crop farmer?

Wild turkeys: From abundant to threatened. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, wild turkey (Scientific name: Meleagris gallopavo ) populations were estimated to be in the millions. These large (adults can reach between 8 and 30 pounds) birds were a good protein source for native populations and European settlers alike. Since the days of the first Thanksgiving, un...

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Figure. Comparing corn harvest progress  in Illinois to the surrounding four Midwestern states as of October 27, 2013 (Source: USDA/NASS).
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Corn and soybean harvest is complete at the NWIARDC

Posted by Angie Peltier - Harvest

Corn Harvest Progress According to the USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service , Illinois corn harvest progress (estimated to be 74 percent complete) as of October 27 th has been slower in 2013 th...

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Figure. Kincaid 8-XP small plot combine harvesting corn at the NWIARDC.

NWIARDC Fall Field Operations

Posted by Angie Peltier - Harvest

At the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center, Brian Mansfield and Marty Johnson have been hard at work harvesting corn and soybean research plots. The small plot combine that is used to harvest the grain from plots harvests two rows from each plot (on 30 inch rows). After collecting harvest...

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Figure. View from the cab while the small plot combine harvests corn at the NWIARDC.
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NWIARDC harvest progress

The University of Illinois Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center has been a busy place these past several weeks. Brian Mansfield, Center Superintendent and Research Agronomist, and Marty Johnson, Research Specialist, have harvested hundreds of corn and soybean research plots. The plot co...

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Figure. Illinois drought map from July 26th, 2012 (Source: US Drought Monitor).

Illinois county average 2012 yields released

I know that many producers like to compare the average grain yield of their operation to the county average. The United States Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service (USDA/NASS) released estimates of 2012 county corn and soybean yield averages on February 21,...

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Figure. Crop rotation/tillage study started at the NWIARDC in 1996.

What is small plot research?

At the University of Illinois Research Centers we do small-plot research. This isn't research that takes place in the highly controlled environment of a laboratory or a test tube, but outdoors. A farm field is a diverse environment, with many abiotic factors (rocks and other inorganic soil components, soil nutrients, residual pesticides, temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, etc.) and biotic...

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Figure. Monthly and cumulative departure from normal precipitation (in inches) at the NWIARDC in 2012.
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September weather summary, soil conditions and harvest progress

SEPTEMBER 2012 TEMPERATURES Soil Temperature Air Temp 4" (Bare) 4" (Sod) (°F) -------------------(°F...

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Figure. Saprophytic black mold covered my arm, clothing and face while rating corn plots.

Saprophytic molds on corn

Many people may have noticed the black clouds surrounding combines during the corn harvest this year. No, not a figurative but a literal black cloud. These black clouds are caused by harvest operations releasing mold spores from fungi that have colonized dead and dying corn tissues. These fungi are not corn pathogens, but organisms called saprophytes. Saprophytes grow on and derive nourishment...

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Figure. Percent of corn harvested in Illinois as of September 16, 2012 (Source: USDA-NASS).
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Crop conditions and harvest progress

The most recent " Illinois Weather and Crops " report, released September 17 th , puts into words and figures statewide and regional crop maturity and harvest progress data. Corn. Statewide, 87% of corn has reached maturity, 35% mo...

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