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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. Scouting plants for lodging potential is time well spent. For the push test, at waist height push plants 30 degrees from vertical to see if they return to an upright position and the stalk remains intact. To avoid having to harvest downed corn, it is recommended to harvest first those fields in which 10-15% of the plants fail the push test.

Pinch or Push Your Corn: Scouting for Lodging Potential

Stalk rots can reduce yields. Stalk rots can decrease harvestable yield - literally leaving some ears on the ground. Corn plants are top-heavy and stalk rots increase the chance that plants will fall over (lodge) due to a combination of gravity and weather. Conditions that favor stalk rots. Mid-season environmental conditions that favor kernel-set follo...

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Figure. Root pruning caused by rootworms at the NWIARDC in 2014. Significant root pruning can cause yield loss and harvest difficulties.
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Corn rootworm egg hatch dictates when best to scout for root injury

To provide corn producers with a method to estimate peak corn rootworm egg hatch and when to best scout for root feeding damage, the Illinois State Water Survey's Illinois Climate Network calculates accumulated pest degree days . They use daily maximum and minimum bare soil temperatures (52 degree minimum) at a 4 i...

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Figure. A picture of root lodging due to a combination of rootworm pruning damage, saturated soils and wind. See me in the background below the arrow for perspective.
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Wind + saturate soils = lodging: Will lodging affect grain dry-down and harvest?

At various locations throughout the state, the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) collects wind speed measurements using an instrument called an ultrasonic anemometer. This device measures the speed of airflow every 10 seconds. The ISWS collects the average wind speed for each hour of the day. They also note...

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Figure. Crop rotation/tillage study started at the NWIARDC in 1996.

What is small plot research?

At the University of Illinois Research Centers we do small-plot research. This isn't research that takes place in the highly controlled environment of a laboratory or a test tube, but outdoors. A farm field is a diverse environment, with many abiotic factors (rocks and other inorganic soil components, soil nutrients, residual pesticides, temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, etc.) and biotic...

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Figure. Corn plants grown under different tillage systems in 2012: left = chisel plow; right = no-tillage.
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Tillage, plant stress, and lodging

The Illinois Department of Agriculture Illinois Soil Conservation Transect Survey Summary Report was released a year ago this month. Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA National Resources Conservation Service personnel randomly surveyed fields for plant residue in ea...

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