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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
2013 harvest

Harvest observations from a trip to campus

Today I traveled to the University of Illinois campus to meet with peers for our Extension marketing team. One of the jobs tasked to this committee is development or collection of content to be used to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Extension. If you have not already done so, visit the 100 Year web site and spend some time in the Bulletin board, Scrapbook and Timeline. We are also anxious t...

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Palmer amaranth update

On September 24th Dr. Aaron Hager penned a Palmer amaranth distribution update in the Illinois Bulletin. Dr. Hager shared that recent research conducted in Illinois by Dr. Adam Davis, USDA-ARS plant ecologist at the University of Illinois, demonstrated that there are few landscape-level barriers to the establishment of Palmer amaranth populations in Illinois, and that these populations, o...

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Interseeded cover crop emergence

When seeding cover crops into standing crops on the soil surface, germination success or failure is often dependent on rainfall. We have been fortunate so far in 2013 at the NIARC. We have received just over an inch of rain since planting our cover crop species into standing corn and soybean fields. I have been pleased with our emergence in this weeks evaluation. Pictured above is Annual ryegrass...

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Time to plant winter wheat in northern Illinois

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

Despite our best planning, using early maturing soybean variety (group 1.8) and planting as soon as we could this spring. Our plot that will be used for our winter wheat trials by Illinois variety testing did not mature in time for ideal planting of the wheat crop. NIARC research agronomist Greg Steckel solved the problem by chopping soybean in an area large enough to accommodate the wheat trials...

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Harvest is underway

Posted by Russel Higgins - Soybeans

Harvest has started in northern Illinois. While it appears most initial trips into the fields have been to test moisture levels and equipment, several complete fields have been harvested. In the dry areas of northern Illinois corn lost its green color very quickly at the end of the growing season and I expected most producers to be harvesting corn first. What surprised me was how quickly soybean f...

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Palmer amaranth confirmed in Grundy County

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weeds

UPDATE - Palmer Amaranth in Illinois -   9/24/2013 Not news that I'm excited to share, Palmer amaranth has been confirmed in northern Illinois. Dr. Aaron Hager, associate professor and weed science specialist, shared that a plant tissue sample from Grundy County was s...

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Corn yields, revisited

Last week we touched on the subject of corn that had died prematurely due to dry weather and warm temperatures and its effect on grain fill and final yield. (Not an issue at the NIARC, we picked up .79 inches on Sunday) It was shared that corn just entering the dent stage (R5) still has about 40% of its potential yield to assimilate. To ground truth this assumption Dr....

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Insect sweeps

Posted by Russel Higgins -

Today I was joined by Gina Angelella, a Purdue pHD student who was looking for sites in northern Illinois to collect Spotted alfalfa aphids. I coordinated seven alfalfa fields (thanks to several generous farmers) and joined in sweeping the fields. Our success in finding the Spotted alfalfa aphid was not that great, Gina collected only five. The aphids will have their DNA sequenced as researchers t...

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Cover crops are planted

The 2013 cover crop study has been planted. While we are right where we need to be as far as calendar date, other conditions are less than perfect. It is dry at the NIARC and we are not getting quite as much light to the soil surface as we would like, especially in the soybean. Despite limited yellowing of the leaves, our 30" row soybeans did not completely canopy the row, so we chose to plant our...

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Possible yield impact of late season drought on corn crop

It seems every time I visit with farmers recently with brown instead of green corn the question that arises is " what impact will this have on final yield?" Here is the perspective of Dr. Bob Nielsen from Purdue University. In his September 10th news release he shared "Once corn reaches dent stage, many folks can be heard confidently stating that there is no reaso...

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Some green, some not

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weather

There is tremendous variability in northern Illinois fields, from those still green right down to the soil line, to those that have died prematurely due to lack of moisture. Several fields with rapid senescence I have visited in the last week are emanating a distinctive smell that I first experienced during the drought year of 2012. I'm associating it with the corn plants premature demise. At the...

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Weed escapes, a sign of future issues?

Posted by Russel Higgins - Weeds

The 2013 planting season brought with it several challenges, for some that included the inability to spray a soil applied residual herbicide in their soybean. To limit or slow the spread of resistant weeds, university weed specialists have been recommending a two pass program including the use of a soil applied residual herbicide. While some northern Illinois fields still had acceptable control wi...

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View from the drill

We planted medium red clover in oat ground to set the groundwork for a 2014 corn study. Farm foreman Dave Lindgren piloted the tractor and NIARC research agronomist Greg Steckel made sure the replications were planted correctly. Last week was spent at the University of Illinois tent at the Farm Progress Show, it was a warm one! Weekend rains were spotty across northern Illinois;.72 inches recorded...

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