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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Back to brown Illinois!

Posted by Russel Higgins -

I arrived home from South Carolina on Friday evening; my return trip through southeastern states gave me the opportunity to experience several thunderstorms. However, as our route brought us back into east central Illinois it was obvious that few of the southern rains I experienced fell on Illinois. This was most evident in the brown hue of most of the rural yards we saw. Almost all of our corn has pollinated to the best of its ability under the stressful conditions. What was most obvious to me after spending several days out of Illinois was that the soybean crop is appearing to experience additional stress. Of our two major crops, soybean has the greatest ability to add yield with late season rains, a fact many producers were counting on to help salvage the 2012 growing season. Dr. Emerson Nafziger shared the following observation in a recent article "The yield potential of stressed soybean plants depends on their ability to respond to rainfall by producing more nodes at the top of the plant and then by flowering and setting pods on these nodes." He further stated "For now, racemes on upper nodes have a good numbers of flowers, and some pods are forming at these upper nodes, however, if weather conditions remain as they are, small pods may abort. Even larger pods may begin to drop off the plants." Emerson's article in its entirety can be accessed here

In fields I walked this weekend soybean ranged from less than 20" tall with upper leaves dying to plants over 36" tall in areas of the same field with soils that had greater water holding capacity. My visits to the fields have me certain of one thing; we have a bumper crop of morningglories and whiteflies in many of our soybean fields!

Congratulations to our current Illinois Extension Agricultural Association president Richard Hentschel. Richard was awarded the NACAA Distinguished Service award at the 2012 meeting in Charleston.

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