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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Scout winter wheat fields

This would be a great time to visit your wheat fields, for a number of reasons. If you have not applied your spring nitrogen you can evaluate field conditions prior to application as well as scout the density of winter annual weeds in the fields. The few northern Illinois winter wheat fields that were planted in late September and the first week of October appear to...

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Bt trait table/NIARC update

The soil tests are done! With help, the fall sampling of the cover crop study was completed at the NIARC. Thanks to overnight delivery of an electric clutch, the Almaco plot combine was running as well as we near the end of harvest. A handy guide is available to producers as they make corn variety selections for the 2014 growing season. Authored by Drs. Chris Difonzo (Michigan...

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Fall fertilization

Fall activities at the NIARC include soil testing and application of dry fertilizer. A recent article originating from the University of Illinois questioned current recommendations regarding potassium. In an article posted today to the Illinois Bulletin Dr. Emerson Nafziger shared his views on the topic. Dr. Nafziger shared that despite most Illinois soils having high levels of p...

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Have the P and K crop removal numbers been adjusted in Illinois?

As the number of harvested acres increase, management decisions including fertilization for the 2014 crop are at hand. Those who attended recent Corn & Soybean Classics or the Northern Illinois Crop Management Conference may remember Dr. Fabian Fernandez sharing preliminary data that suggested the currentĀ  "book" values for P and K grain concentrations, used to calculate removal, used in Illi...

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Fall nitrogen aid for corn stover degradation?

Corn and soybeans trials are being harvested today at the NIARC. I have noticed most of the researchers have dug in their closets and wisely brought their cold weather gear for harvest operations. Lack of sunshine and windy conditions makes harvesting with the cab-less plot combines an invigorating experience. A recent conversation with a grower brought up the practice of applying nitro...

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Sidedressing nitrogen

Finally, the planting season is over. We are taking advantage of favorable weather and sidedressing nitrogen on plots at the NIARC. Wheat and oat growers, the Northern Illinois small grains meeting is being held at the research center on Thursday (June 20th) evening at 5:30, Come join us....

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Hot weather on the way

I just returned from a week in California (because when this trip was planned we certainly would be finished planting and early herbicide applications would be done by the 1st) . I learned about the June gloom while in southern California, and even had the opportunity to tour the USS Iowa on the anniversary of D-day. But back in Illinois it appears that the warm weather that has...

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Finally, wheat breaks dormancy in northern Illinois

The last several days have greatly benefited the winter wheat crop in northern Illinois. A remarkable green-up has occurred courtesy of several 60+ degree days and 1/2 an inch of rain at the NIARC. Farm foreman Dave Lindgren applied nitrogen to the wheat variety trials prior to the rain with the granular spreader....

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Nitrogen; will it stay or will it go?

The wild card in any discussion of overwintering nutrients is nitrogen. Even in areas that had better than expected yields we found high levels of nitrogen in the nitrate form in the top 12 inches of the soil profile. 2012 was a year of limited nitrogen usage and loss. Several samples pulled in DeKalb and in Grundy County recorded 29 ppm of Nitrate N in the top 12 inches of the soil profile, which...

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The end is practically in sight! Harvest was delayed with several mechanical breakdowns and the waiting for parts or expertise. But as of Friday, all the research portions of the remaining plots were harvested and Dave Lindgren is making short work of the remaining crops at the Center. The final soil samples have been pulled from three depths in our cover crop trialĀ  and are on their way to be ana...

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Fall soil tests

This past week we pulled soil samples from a nitrogen stabilizer study with an encapsulated nitrapyrin. One of the challenges of a fertilizer and fertilizer additives is collecting data that measures available soil nutrients at varying times of the growing season. It can and often is a labor intensive project. In the harvested field we are in today we have 10 treatments that have each been repl...

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Left-over nitrogen?

A very unusual occurrence took place at the NIARC today (at least for 2012), we were rained out from field activities late in the afternoon. For those in northern Illinois who experienced poor corn yields, there is a good chance that some of the nitrogen that was applied to meet the requirements of a normal crop is still there. It is likely that the the nitrogen is now in the nitrate form in the s...

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