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Straight Stalk

Current crop information updates and research highlights

University of Illinois Extension 2019 Late Planting Checklist

University of Illinois Extension Specialists and Educators created the following checklist of common late planting questions. Corn planting continues in Illinois - should I change maturities? For planting by mid-June, the northern tiers of counties probably need hybrids that are 105 RM or less. On the I-80 corridor it should be 110 RM or less. If planting opportunities...

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2019 Planting Progress2

Panic/Don't Panic Chart Update May 10, 2019

An update to the chart adding Week#19. we are poised to be the second slowest planting season in the last 20 years at the need of week #19 (second week of May)...

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Deja Vu Don't Panic Part 2

The 2018 planting season got off to a very late start and now in 2019 we are running even later. As the updated chart shows, delayed planting does not necessarily equate with lower yields....

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MRTN Update

Dr Emerson Nafziger, Professor Emeritus University of Illinois, recently updated the Illinois nitrogen response date by adding data from the 2018 field trials. This data has been incorporated into the MRTN website and also into the downloadable cell phone apps. Android:...

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Fall 2018 Nitrogen Resources

Here are links to Nitrogen application resources for Fall 2018: Dr. Nafziger's latest bulletin article. Soil temperatures May need to sign up for free account, recommended to cha...

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Don't Panic

Stealing a phrase from the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", there is still time to plant and get above average yields. The attached chart shows the Illinois corn planting progress chart since 1999 and the corresponding corn and soybean yields. I included the soybean yields because I have heard the question, "If corn planting is late, then soybeans will be even later and we have been pushing for...

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Snow Day for Planting

We often start April with some corn already planted and we normally end April with about 50 percent of the corn planted, based upon state averages published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The latest planting start in the last 20 years was in 2013 when only 1 percent of the crop had been planted by May 1 but by mid-May we had recovered significantly with 75 percent planted. The...

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2018 Crop Management Conferences Save the Dates

The 2018 University of Illinois Crop Management Conferences will be held as follows: January 24- Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon January 31- University of Illinois Springfield February 7- iHotel and Conference Center, Champaign February 21- Kishwaukee College, Malta Look for registration information in early December....

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Corn Survey 2016 confirmed map
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New Corn Disease Identified in Illinois

Posted by N. Dennis Bowman - Corn

Extension Staff Join with other Agencies to Survey Illinois for New Corn Disease The USDA just announced the presence of Bacterial leaf streak in corn, as determined by recent surveys of the Corn Belt states. In Illinois, a cooperative survey was organized with APHIS-PPQ (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), IDA (Illinois Department of Agriculture), CAPS (Illinois N...

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2016 Weed Control Guide Available

The 2016 Ohio/Indiana/Illinois Weed Control guide is now available as a free downloadable pdf file or a printed copy is available for $15.25 from the Ohio State Extension service...

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Don't be surprised by very low K soil tests this fall!

Better than expected yields and a very dry fall are causing soils to test very low for available potassium (K). Most of the K in corn is in the foliage an is washed back into the soil by rainfall as the residue decays. Some of the K may also be locked into very dry soil clay particles. If you look at annual graphs of soil available K, September is traditionally the low point in the cycle, but norm...

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Emergence well underway

The corn planted April 1 benefited from warmer than normal conditions and started emerging on April 16 and is now close to 100%. But colder temperatures over the last few days has slowed additional growth....

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First Corn Planting

No April Fools joke, corn planting started at the South Farm yesterday. Not very much, but for a couple of experiments looking at planting date, April 1 will be the first of several planting dates included. Heat units will not likely accumulate very fast but I will start tracking using the U2U Corn GDD tool. Average weather would predict emergence...

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ExploreACES, the college open house that showcases activities across all college departments and gives prospective students a taste of the range of programs housed in the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is being held today and tomorrow. There was a lot of traffic past my UAV display table today. Despite bad weather we were able t...

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Evaluating corn after frost

Making a replant decision after frost can be challenging. Which plants do you include in population counts, when evaluating a damaged corn stand? In 2012 a hard freeze hit the Corn Planting Date Study here at the CSREC, we took that opportunity to tag plants with different levels of damage and follow them to harvest. The bottom line is, if you don't see more than a hint of green after 5-7 days, it...

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April 27th Rainfall

From the Map it looks like most of Illinois south of I-72 received at least 1 inch of rain yesterday. That should get a lot of corn off to a good start....

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2014 County Corn Yields (NASS)
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2013 Corn and Soybean Yields

A few days ago, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the county corn and soybean production numbers. This annual event is often a source of bragging rights for which county had the highest corn and soybean yields. The top yielding corn county in 2013 was Carroll in northwestern Illinois with an average yield of 200 bushels per acre. For soybean, DeKalb took the honors wi...

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New Corn Replanting Decision Aid

Deciding on whether or not to replant can be a difficult decision. Cutworm, compaction and seedling blight are some of the problems that can lead to reduced plant populations. The sight of an uneven reduced stand is often more than many farmers can take, but the desire to "fix-it" may not make sense agronomically or economically. For fields where the stand has been relatively evenly th...

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Field activity in the area

Last Thursday through Sunday saw much field preparation in the Champaign to Decatur area. There was a continuous shuttle of anhydrous tanks on country roads. In my travels I spotted, one large operation with 4 tracked tractors working in adjacent fields all pulling large applicators with two-tank anhydrous carts trailing behind.  A pair a planters were also working nearby....

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Palmer amaranth infestation in Madison County, Illinois. Photo credit, Robert Bellm

Weed Worries

Six years ago I wrote a column about the appearance of herbicide resistant weeds and one of the "horror" stories I mentioned was about cotton producers in Georgia. At that time, cotton producers and University researchers in a five county region of Georgia were struggling to figure out how to profitably grow cotton in fields that were infested with a new herbicide resistant weed, glyphosate res...

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MRTN/Split Rate Calculator makes #7 on Ag App of the Year List

Our MRTN Nitrogen Split Rate Calculator app made the Crop Life list of best agriculture apps of 2012 . Check out the whole list here:

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MRTN/Split Rate Calculator apps available

The MRTN Android app has been updated to include a split rate and cost comparison calculator. The new version is also now available for the Apple iPhone and iPad. The Apple app is available in the iTunes app store listed as " MRTN/Nitrogen Application Calculator ". To download the Android app, click on this link...

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Aspergillus ear rot. Photo by Robert Bellm

Aflatoxin Alert

Pouring salt into a wound- Despite recent rains the drought continues to reduce the value of this year's corn crop. To some area farmers' dismay, elevators are rejecting truckloads of grain based on the detection of aflatoxin in the grain. Aflatoxin is a toxic and carcinogenic compound produced by the Aspergillus fungus. This ear rot fungus occurs most often in hot dry years. It will in...

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Cover crop seeding experiment

This summer/fall I have the opportunity to assist with a on-farm cover crop seeding trial. I am evaluating several different seeding methods from a ground-based applicator. The first few rounds were planted/seeded last week until a welcome rain stopped them. Some of the units have actual ground contact and lightly incorporate the seed. Looking at the strips this week shows some excelle...

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Short Crop-Long Tail or maybe Long Tales

"Short crop, long tail" is one of those catchy phrases that stick in your brain. I remember hearing it early in my Extension career after another drought year from one of our Crop Outlook and Marketing Specialists. Stories of the "drought of aught 12" will likely be told for years and "short crops have long tales" may also be accurate. As an agronomist I try to avoid economics, when pos...

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