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Angie Peltier


Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture



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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Figure. Stripe rust of wheat. Note the orange to yellow spores of the fungus erupting through the leaf tissue in long stripes  (Photo: Carl Bradley).
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Time to scout your wheat

The Feekes wheat growth staging scale was developed to focus on important milestones in wheat development, particularly those that are important growth stages for scouting for insects, disease and weeds. See the blog article, Growth staging wheat , for more discussion about the Feekes sc...

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Figure. Feekes scale of wheat development. Graphic by Jerry Downs. Adapted from: Large, E.C., 1954. Growth stages of cereals: Illustration of the Feekes scale. Plant Pathology 3:128-129. (New Mexico State University).
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Growth staging wheat

The Feekes wheat growth staging scale ( Figure ) was developed to focus on important milestones in wheat development, particularly those that are important for scouting for insects, disease and weeds. For diseases, scouting should typically begin at Feekes 8, when the flag leaf is first visible. The flag leaf is important to protect because this leaf provides the...

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Figure. Soybean planting response over seven site-years in central and northern Illinois, 2010 - 2011. In the equation, PlDa = number of days after April 1. (Dr. Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois)

Recent research on soybean planting date

Over the past two years, Dr. Emerson Nafziger, U of I Agronomist, has planted soybeans on four different dates throughout the season at four research stations in Northern and Central Illinois, including the NWIARDC. At the NWIARDC, these planting dates were April 14, May 5 and 20, and June 11. Dr. Nafziger's group found that yields were highest at the earliest planting...

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Figure. Percent of corn planted in Illinois as of April 22, 2012. (USDA-NASS, Illinois Department of Agriculture)

Planting progress in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Agriculture released a planting progress report for the state this week. The percentage of corn planted by April 22 nd was the highest that it has been in the last 10 years, with 59% planted statewide ( Figure ). In Northwestern Illinois, the southern-most counties including Henry and Mercer counties, 30% of the corn has been...

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Will it rain already?

The region really needs the rain that is predicted tonight and into Saturday. In comparing the NWIARDC 2012 precipitation data to the 20-year average, without the predicted rain, we'd be down 4.19 inches. With the predicted rain, we'd be down 3.85 inches for the year. This precipitation deficit has many potential implications for this growing season: e...

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Early planted corn recovers from frost damage

Early planted corn that had been damaged by the mid-April frost at the NWIARDC is quickly recovering ( Figures ). As a general rule, a hard frost doesn't kill a plant unless it kills the apical meristem. The apical meristem is the growing point of the corn plant from which all leaves originate. In young corn plants, the apical meristem is located below-ground, and is often protected...

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Figure 2. 2011 Corn yield deviations from trend.
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How did 2011 corn and soybean yields measure up?

University of Illinois Agricultural Economist, Dr. Gary Schnitkey, compiled 2011 Illinois average yield data by county. Dr. Schnitkey used county yield data from 1972 to 2010 to find yield trends over time and to predict 2011 Illinois yields based on this 38-year trend. He then compared the predicted yield trend with actual yield data to determine how much 2011 corn and soybean yields deviated...

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Figure. The RSS feature allows you to view options for subscribing to the Hill and Furrow Blog.

How to subscribe to the Hill and Furrow blog

Posted by Angie Peltier -

Instead of having to remember to check the website to see if there is a new posting, you can subscribe to the blog using an RSS feed. RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' and is a nice way to get updated whenever something new is posted. Most news websites have this feature. To subscribe to the Hill and Furrow blog, take the following steps: 1) Click on the RSS ic...

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Frost damage on corn at the NWIARDC

The mild weather this spring allowed for an additional planting date in a corn planting date study. The corn that was planted on March 30, experienced freezing temperatures on April 10th, 11th, and 12th. The photos here show the range of damage that was observed on this corn. Some plants were completely dead, some were dead above ground with the growing point below ground still green and others ha...

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Figure. Black cutworm moth captured at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Spring 2012. Note the characteristic black 'dagger' shaped markings located in the lower portion of the wing.

Black cutwoms at the NWIARDC

Posted by Angie Peltier - Insects

Insects that overwinter in Illinois may have had better survival than in more recent, harsher winters. However the spring population is also a function of the number of adults that were present to lay eggs in the fall. Entomologist at the University of Illinois suggest that folks scout their fields early to keep a look out for insects that overwinter in Illinois including the soybean aphid, bea...

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How has the mild winter affected weeds?

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weeds

Weed scientists at the University of Illinois are concerned about winter annual weeds this year as the mild winter may not have resulted in as much mortality as in previous years. Additionally, the warm spring weather is allowing these weeds to perk up and start growing earlier than in years past and before you may be ready for them. If you didn't have an aggressive fall weed c...

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Figure. Earliest soybean planting dates for which replant payments will be issued in Illinois according to COMBO crop insurance policies (source: Farm Doc).

How will the mild weather affect planting date?

If your field is dry enough 2012 to begin planting, which is likely with the below average rainfall in 2012, you may be chomping at the bit to get into the fields before spring rains delay planting. Only you can decide what is best for your operation. However early planting increases the likelihood that seeds will be exposed to stressful environmental conditions. Here are a cou...

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Early planting hasn't historically increased yields at the NWIARDC

In 2009 and 2010, agronomists at the University of Illinois led by Dr. Emerson Nafziger studied the effect of planting date on yield at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NIARDC). Seeds were planted in early and mid-April and in May. They found that there was no yield boost with early planting ( Figure ). On average, the ear...

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Figure 1. National Weather Service, Climactic Prediction Center's official April 2012 temperature and precipitation forecast maps: a) Temperature probability, regions that are colored orange have an enhanced probability of experiencing above normal April temperatures; b) Precipitation probability, regions that are colored green have an enhanced probability of above normal rainfall in April.

Above average temperatures predicted for April

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weather

The National Weather Service's Climactic Prediction Center forecasters released precipitation and temperature predictions for April 2012. They forecast that there is an enhanced probability that April temperatures will be above normal for Western Illinois ( Figure 1a ). They also forecast that there is an enhanced probability that April precipitation will be above normal for part...

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How about this weather?

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weather

Temperatures this year at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center have surpassed the 17-year average high and low temperatures. The 2012 January average high temperature was 8.5 degrees above average, the February average high temperature was 4.8 degrees above average and the March average high temperature was 15.7 degrees above average. The 2012 average lo...

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