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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Now it rains?

Posted by Russel Higgins -

After a summer of missed rains, Mother Nature added insult to injury and chose Thursday to unleash several ominous storm systems upon the south farms on the University of Illinois campus. The mid-morning storm caused an early halt to the field tours taking place as part of the 2012 Agronomy Day. Early arrivers did manage to get in two tours before the cancellation took place. Dr. Fabian Fernandez's presentation shared preliminary data that suggests the standard crop removal rates established over thirty years ago may be high. The new numbers (primarily for P & K) could translate into revised recommendations and substantial savings in maintenance fertilizer applications. Dr. Fernandez shared repeatedly that this does not mean low testing soils can automatically reduce their rates proportionately and still encourages the buildup on low testing soils. A state wide study of random soil samples has indicated that the majority of Illinois soils are below suggested P and K levels for maximum production. Look for additional information from Fabian on this topic at a future date.

On the return drive from Champaign (in round two of storm fronts) I stopped north of Gibson city to take a picture of this corn that would not benefit from the days rain. A friend often exclaims "dead and gone" to describe a situation beyond help, a suitable descriptor of this particular field.

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