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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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Dont Panic2019

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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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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New download location for Soybean Seeding Calculator

The Soybean Seeding Calculator that Emerson Nafziger and I put together has moved to a new server. The old links went through a Dropbox folder. Unfortunately, Dropbox changed their sharing protocol and the links would no longer work and the links could not be changed. The University of Illinois Crop Science Department gave me a spot on their server to host some of my apps. I am now trying to get t...

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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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Soybean Planting Date Response

The probability of getting the maximum soybean yield declines very similar to corn....

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April 27 Early soybean near Cisco, IL.

Cool Beans

These young soybean plants emerging near Cisco, IL may wish they were still in the bag, but soybean planting date research shows that in Central and Northern Illinois early planted soybeans tend to have highest probability of maximum yield....

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Brown Stem Rot

Don't Just Assume it's Sudden Death Syndrome

One of the most feared diseases of soybean is Sudden Death Syndrome(SDS). In quick fashion a previously perfect looking soybean field can deteriorate. The sight of yellow and brown soybean leaves with green veins is the first indication farmers have that they have a problem. We sometimes forget that these foliar symptoms can also indicate a Brown stem rot problem. To determine the actua...

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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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Soybean not a fan of bright lights/big cities

One of those oddities that I get a question or two about every fall. Why do soybean plants near street/highway lights stay green until frost? While corn plants love light and heat in their rush to harvest. Soybean plants are night owls. The soybean varieties we grow in Illinois are grouped by Maturity groups with groups II, III and IV being the most common in Central Illinois. Soybean p...

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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 Soybean Seeding Calculator App

A new Android app helps simplify soybean planting. Emerson Nafziger and I developed this app to automate some common calculations related to soybean planting.  The app helps answer such questions as: How many seeds should I plant to end up with a given plant population? How many bags will I need to plant the entire field? How many seeds per foot of row should...

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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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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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Drought Resource Website

The latest information from the University of Illinois on:  Dealing with Drought and Heat -  This site contains information on Crops, Livestock, Finances and Home & Garden...

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Million Dollar Rain?

It has been a dusty spring so far and moisture concerns have been on the rise. Rain over the last weekend has pushed back the short term concerns for most of the area....

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Crop Insurance Defines, Planting Too Early

Crop insurance COMBO products, which include Yield Protection and Revenue Protection plans, have "earliest planting date" restrictions. For corn in Illinois, the earliest planting date is April 6th, except for counties in the extreme southern part of the state. For soybeans the crop insurance "earliest planting date" is April 21 for counties south of and included in a line from Carthage to Kankake...

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