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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.
Planting Date
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Center Field Day - July 26, 8 AM

Join personnel from the Northwestern Illinois Ag Research and Demonstration Center for their 36th annual field day on July 26. Buses will leave the research center (321 201th Ave, Monmouth) at 8 AM sharp and travel to different stops where researchers will discuss their research at the center. Presentati...

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Figure. Corn growth after different planting dates on May 18, 2017.
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Following Crop Development in a Corn Planting Date Trial

You might have always wondered whether there was some way to estimate when your corn crop is likely to reach the silking and black layer growth stages. Well you might just be in luck if you gather the following information about a particular corn hybrid (when it was planted, where it was planted, its estimated days to maturity) and use any internet browser to visit...

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Figure. Brian Mansfield and Marty Johnson scramble to get planter boxes filled before a storm rolls in at the NWIARDC (May 7, 2014).

April weather and planting progress

Weather. As of early morning April 27, the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center in Monmouth had gotten 4.22 inches of rain, 3/10 more than the 30-year 'normal'. If the forecast over the next couple of days is accurate, by the end of the day on the 30 th , we will likely have 3 inches more rain in April than the 30-year average. Temperatures on average had...

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Figure. Results of a corn planting date trial at the NWIARDC in Monmouth in 2016. Note that planting dates with the same letters are not statistically different.

Results: 2016 Corn planting date x fungicide trial

Each year personnel at the Northwestern Illinois Ag Research & Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) in Monmouth establish a corn planting date trial. In 2016 the same 110-day corn hybrid was planted at the same seeding rate (35,000 seeds/A) and planting depth (1.75 inches) at one of four planting dates in plots 8 rows wide and 100 feet long ( Table ). Each plot was split in half le...

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Figure. Bleached or tan colored husk leaves associated with Diplodia ear mold.
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Disease Alert: Diplodia ear mold in 2016

Symptoms and signs of Diplodia ear mold. In the past couple of weeks, symptoms of ear mold have popped up at the Northwestern Illinois Ag R&D Center. While most fields have rows upon rows of healthy-looking husk leaves enveloping plump ears, in some fields individual ears stand out as the husk leaves are a bleached or tan color ( Figure ). Upon peeling back t...

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Figure. These corn ears were picked on August 3, 2016 in Monmouth, IL. Why are these corn ears so different? How might this difference affect yield estimates?
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Why are these corn ears so different? How might this difference affect yield estimates?

While my inclination is to joke and say that the obvious difference must be that the larger ear was grown in Illinois while the smaller ear was grown in another state (four letters, also starts with an 'I'…..), this isn't it. A estimate of yields in a field full of the more moderate-sized ear (612 kernels/ear) at an ear population of 33,000 would be 260 bu/A. While estimated  of a field...

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Figure. Corn planted on different dates in 2016 at the NWIARDC. From Left to right is corn planted on April 5, April 15, May 5 and May 19.

Planting date and corn and soybean development

Corn and soybean planting date trials. Each year corn and soybean planting date trials are established at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) in Monmouth. Sunshine, adequate moisture and moderate temperatures are needed to drive the enzymatic reactions responsible for plant growth and development. Relationship betwe...

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Figure. Uneven crop development and poor populations were observed in corn plots planted on March 8, 2016.
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March 8 corn planted at either 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 or 3.0 inches deep – Effects on crop development and population

On May 17, Ryan Farmer, a student hourly worker at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) collected stand count data from a demonstration trial that had been planted more than 2 months earlier. On an unseasonably warm March 8 day NWIARDC personnel decided to see just how wise it is to plant that early in the Monmouth area. Needing to calibrate...

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Figure. Photo taken on May 10 of corn that had been planted on April 5 in a planting date trial at the NWIARDC.
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Planting and Crop Progress

State and Region. According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service corn planting and emergence and soybean planting in Illinois have progressed faster than the running 5-year average (2011-2015, Figure). Similar to in 2015, the nine counties that make up the western Illinois crop reporting district lead the state in both corn and soybean planting, with 94 percen...

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Figure. Grain yield for continuous corn planted at four different planting dates in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (source: Brian Mansfield, Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center Research Agronomist).
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Trends in Continuous Corn and Corn-Soy Rotation Planting Dates

Although Twitter came alive this spring with reports of farmers near Pearl, IL (in Pike County) planting corn on March 8, and I spoke with a farmer in Knox County that planted corn on March 22, most people wait for the 'earliest plant' dates dictated by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). RMA sets these dates based upon historical weather patterns, balancing the risks associated with frost a...

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GDD Table - June 8
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How well do accumulated GDDs relate to approximated and actual growth and development of the 2015 corn crop?

Most corn producers are aware of growing degree days as a way to both monitor the accumulation of heat units favorable to growth and estimate when a crop may reach important developmental milestones. Briefly, to calculate the GDD value for a particular day, the daily high and low temperatures (between and including a low of 50 and a high of 86 degrees) are added together, divided by 2, with 50...

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Figure. Corn Growing Degree Day decision support tool. After a location is selected, the tool can be further customized to include planting date and hybrid-specific information regarding phenological milestones (see blue box). (Credits: U2U Project: https://mygeohub.org/groups/u2u/gdd)

Free Corn Growing Degree Day (GDD) Decision Support Tool

Through funding provided by the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a group of researchers from nine different Midwestern states and Universities worked collaboratively to develop a series of decision support tools for Midwestern crop producers. One of these is called the Corn Growing D...

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Figure. Map and Table summarizing abnormally dry soil conditions on April 28, 2015 (Source: U.S. Drought Monitor).

Dry April Weather = Good Planting Conditions

Precipitation. Before the most recent rain events over the weekend, Warren County was among several Illinois counties that that were listed by the U.S. Drought Monitor as being abnormally dry ( Figure ). This made for great planting conditions as soils were able to hold large equip...

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Figure. Corn planted April 1, experienced below freezing air temperatures early morning April 21 and 23. Note on the photo dated April 27,  although the above-ground tissue is dead, the growing point remains largely undamaged.
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Frost-damaged corn plants re-emerge: Will they act as weeds to their less-damaged neighbors?

Corn planting date trials. Each year, personnel at the Northwestern Research and Demonstration Center establish a replicated planting date trial. The trial established this year will tell us, given the conditions that will be experienced by the crop from planting until harvest, when was the best time to plant corn in Monmouth in 2015. Over a number of years and locations, these...

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Figure. Notice that corn seedlings have not yet emerged on April 14 in a plot planted to corn on April 1.

We're off and running!

Soil conditions and weather was cooperating enough at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) to both begin spring nitrogen applications and sow the first corn on April 1. As is the case most years, the first corn planted on the NWIARDC is planted earlier than both the USDA-RMA earliest planting date of April 5 and most local farm fields. Each...

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Figure. Foliar symptoms of sudden death syndrome have exploded at the NWIARDC this week.

Investigating the effects of planting date and in-furrow treatments on soybean yield in 2014

What had begun as a study to investigate the effects of planting date and in-furrow treatments (fungicide and starter fertilizer) on soybean yield, morphed into a disease trial after severe symptoms of sudden death syndrome appeared in this trial in mid-August. You will find a details regarding the design and results of this trial...

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Exciting Program Planned for the 2015 Regional Crop Management Conferences!

Registration is now open for the 2015 Regional Crop Management Conferences. These 2-day conferences provide a forum for discussion and interaction between participants and university researchers and are designed to address a wide array of topics pertinent to crop production in Illinois: crop management, pest management, nutrient management, soil and water management. Certified Crop Advi...

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Figure. Growing degree days accumulated each day between April 10 and August 15, 2014 (blue bars) and total growing degree day accumulation during this period (red line). Data obtained using cli-MATE tools from the Midwest Regional Climate Center),

Cool temperatures and crop development, corn planting dates and yield estimates

July temperatures. Temperatures below the 30-year "normal" prevailed over much of July and are continuing into August ( Table ). Comparing the temperature data collected at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) to the "normals" at a weather station 4 miles away in Monmouth (with a larger data set) gives us a decent ind...

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Figure. Soybean plant development in a planting date trial (June 26, 2014).
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Corn and Soybean Development: Planting Date

University of Illinois Planting Date Trials. Along with numerous other biotic and abiotic factors, environmental conditions such as soil water availability and air temperature drive the growth and development of field crops. Each year, under the direction of Dr. Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Research Center staff establish and maintain corn and soybean planting date...

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Figure. Effect of planting date and accumulated growing degree units on corn growth and development.
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Planting progress, planting date and plant development

Planting Progress: 2013 versus 2014. State-wide. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, an estimated 95 percent of corn acres have been planted, and 81 percent have emerged as of May 25 . Corn p...

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Figure. Uneven corn emergence at the NWIARDC.
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Uneven corn emergence and yield potential

Corn plants emerged unevenly in some fields at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) in 2014. The picture above shows uneven emergence in a field that was cultivated on April 16 and seeded 1.75 inches deep on April 22 ( Figure ). Yield costs associated with uneven emergence. Yield loss can occur when some plant...

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Figure. Brian Mansfield and Marty Johnson scramble to get planter boxes filled before a storm rolls in at the NWIARDC (May 7, 2014).

April 2014 weather: Soil temperatures and planting progress

Temperature, snowfall and precipitation data listed below were collected at a weather station located a little more than 4 miles from the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC), while soil temperature probes are located at the NWIARDC. Air temperature. The average high temperature in April was 2 degrees below the 30-year average a...

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Figure. Corn planted April 9, 2014.
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Planting date and corn yield

Each year a corn planting date trial is established at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center. Planting date studies can provide us with valuable information. For example, in a given year, with its unique weather conditions, we can find out which planting date resulted in the highest grain yields. Additionally, planting date trials over many years can help agro...

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Figure. Marty Johnson and Brian Mansfield plant corn at the NWIARDC on April 21, 2014.
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Spring Field Operations

Planting Operations are Underway . Now that soil temperatures have become more favorable for seed germination, Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) Research Agronomist Brian Mansfield and Research Specialist Marty Johnson have been hard at work planting corn during the past several days ( Figures ). They take turns operati...

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Figure. Frequency of when last lethal frost occurred each spring in Monmouth, IL (1893-2013).
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A historical look at lethal soil temperatures

Each year as the first few warm spring days arrive, farmers begin gearing up to plant: checking over tractors and planters, arranging last-minute seed or input purchases, checking field conditions and checking the daily, short- and long-term weather forecasts for the region. According to University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Dr. Gary Schnitkey, on average seed is the second most...

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