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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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Killing frost?

Over the weekend the NIARC experienced a minimum recorded temperature of 31.6 degrees. We expect a temperature of 28 degrees or lower to kill the entire corn or soybean plant, but cool temperatures near 28 can injure or damage the upper leaves of plants. That is what we are observing on our late planted soybean at the NIARC.

With funding from the Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) a new project was initiated in 2014 to try to get a better idea for how much nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are contained in harvested grain of corn, soybean, and wheat. Needed now are corn samples from Illinois north of I-80, and in central Illinois with the exception of the westernmost part of the state. Dr. Emerson Nafziger shared this information in his October 10th Bulletin article.

We would like to collect 20 to 30 samples per county in the large corn-growing counties, with some samples from each county. Individual producers can send in samples from several different fields, but having volunteers to take samples within a county or area will be more efficient.

If you are interested in collecting samples, whether for your farm or from several locations, your help would be appreciated. Contact and have the bags sent directly to you. I hope to dedicate at least 5 days collecting samples in northern Illinois, I may run into you! Please feel free to give me a call with questions. The protocol for sample collection is as follows

1. Each volunteer sends an email to, giving the number of sample bags he or she would like and the shipping address to which they should be sent. The shipment of the bags will include a box (or boxes) with prepaid shipping labels so samples can be sent to us here at the University of Illinois.

2. Each bag will have a blank label to record the field location. We prefer GPS coordinates or ZIP code if GPS isn't possible. The only other thing we're asking for is yield level – just an estimate for the field. If the sample comes from a combine it can be numbers directly from the yield monitor in the area of the field where the sample was collected.

3. Each sample should be about 200 grams of grain, or about two handfuls.

4. When all samples have been collected, send them in the box provided with the prepaid shipping label. Send them early in the week so they don't sit over the weekend if there is wet grain.

5. For those who want to see the numbers from their own samples, we'll put a blank on the label for an email address – this will be optional.

Please let me know if you have an interest or questions!

Russ Higgins

815 274 1343

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