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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 growth after different planting dates on May 18, 2017.
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Following Crop Development in a Corn Planting Date Trial

You might have always wondered whether there was some way to estimate when your corn crop is likely to reach the silking and black layer growth stages. Well you might just be in luck if you gather the following information about a particular corn hybrid (when it was planted, where it was planted, its estimated days to maturity) and use any internet browser to visit...

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Figure. Black cutworm. Note the small, black dagger-shaped marking on each outer wing.

Significant Black Cutworm Flights Continue

A significant black cutworm flight (9 moths) took place overnight May 3rd to 4th at the Northwestern Research Center in Monmouth. Along with rain, the recent weather system (which looked like a giant clock-wise turning hurricane over the middle of the US) likely carried North black cutworms. Entomologist and Illinois Natural History Survey's Coordinated Agricultural Pest Survey coordin...

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Image citation: Daren Mueller, Iowa State University,

Impacts of Saturated or Flooded (or Crusted) Soils on Crop Plants

The Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research & Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) received 6.24 inches of rain in April, more than 3 inches of which fell over the last 5 days of the month. Relatively speaking the Monmouth area lucked out as further South, both Perry and Snicarte accumulated more than 5 inches, Belleville more than 6 inches, Rend Lake nearly 8 inches and Carbondale more than...

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Figure. Herbicide injury symptoms on corn at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center in May, 2016.

2017 Growing Season Resolution: Make a Season-long Commitment to Scouting

Posted by Angie Peltier -

Whenever a growing season ends, a lidded rubber box that houses my scouting supplies moves out from my vehicle's trunk and gets moved into the my office to make way for the lidded box holding my winter weather survival gear. Come spring, the scouting box gets restocked and switches place with the survival gear indicating that the growing season (aka scouting season) is upon us! It is im...

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Figure. Brian Mansfield and Marty Johnson scramble to get planter boxes filled before a storm rolls in at the NWIARDC (May 7, 2014).

April weather and planting progress

Weather. As of early morning April 27, the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center in Monmouth had gotten 4.22 inches of rain, 3/10 more than the 30-year 'normal'. If the forecast over the next couple of days is accurate, by the end of the day on the 30 th , we will likely have 3 inches more rain in April than the 30-year average. Temperatures on average had...

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Figure. Black cutworm moth captured at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Spring 2012. Note the characteristic black 'dagger' shaped markings located in the lower portion of the wing.
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Black cutworm trap: significant flight in fewer than 24 hours!

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...

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Grain bins

Temperature fluctuations outside can lead to temperature and moisture issues in stored grain

It is widely understood that the quality of grain coming out of storage is never going to be better than the quality of that grain going into storage. For some that stored 2016 corn, Diplodia and other ear molds ensured that grain quality going into storage was not of ideal quality. Fluctuating air temperatures this winter and spring has the potential to cause moisture or hot-spots to develop in s...

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