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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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NIARC fieldwork

We missed much of the rain that fell across northern Illinois last night allowing field activities to take place. In addition to several spring tillage operations, farm foreman Dave Lindgren applied nitrogen to plots that are expected to be planted to oats tomorrow. Research agronomist Greg Steckel and I flagged a crop rotation study. While the use of RTK and auto-steer have made planting research plots much easier, there is still a need on occasion to use tape measures. Here at the NIARC we use a set of steel tapes purchased by former University of Illinois Weed Scientist Dr. Ellery Knake. Rolling and unrolling a 500 foot steel tape multiple times is a unique form of exercise, especially to those who have not seen much exercise over the winter months. Its fun to think of the probable hundreds of grad students, researchers and Extension workers who have been on the business end of these very tapes.

The Illinois Crop Progress and Condition Report released Monday April 21st shared that 5% of the corn crop has been planted. That is well behind the five year average of 22%. The report also shared soil temperatures measured April 20th at 4 inches under bare soil. The lowest temperature recorded in the state was recorded at the NIARC, a cool 46.6 degrees.  As expected, very little has happened to our April 11th planted corn. After 11 days in the ground the radicle is just emerging from some kernels.

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