Region Updates

Region 3
05/15/2024, Ford
Talon Becker

Like much of the state, conditions in Ford County are fairly wet. Standing water in fields was minimal, for the most part, most fields are at or near their holding capacity. During my transect of the southern half of the county, I saw very few emerged fields. The majority of fields are still yet to be planted, and many of those have not been sprayed or tilled yet this spring. I did see both corn and soybeans emerged in a couple fields, but still at VE/V1 and VC, respectively. There were several fields that had been recently planted prior to the last couple days of rain. Without too much more rain, those fields should come out of it okay, but that may not be in the cards, with some slight chances for rains in the local forecast over the next several days.

 
Region 3
05/15/2024, Grundy
Russ Higgins

In Northeast Illinois some were fortunate to plant for several days while others have yet to attempt field work in the month of May. Crop scouting is critical to determine stand counts and the presence of drowned out areas. Waterhemp seedlings can easily be found in fields. For post herbicide applications be aware of weed height recommendations. A general rule is treating most weeds in the 3 to 4 inch stage.

 
Region 3
05/15/2024, LaSalle
Emily Hansen

Some growers were able to take advantage of the nice weather over the weekend and get out in the field. Most corn that was planted earlier is at VE-V1, and soybeans are at VE-VC. There is minimal standing water, but fields remain fairly wet.

 
Region 3
05/08/2024, LaSalle
Emily Hansen

Planting has paused due to wet conditions, but corn has started to emerge in fields that were planted earlier.

 
Region 3
05/08/2024, Grundy
Russ Higgins

The start of another growing season! Limited field activity for nearly two weeks, our most recent precipitation event on May 7th will continue this trend. Planted corn is reaching V1 and planted soybean emerging, but plenty of seed can still be found in bags. Unworked or sprayed fields are full of winter annuals including Butterweed. Reports of significant alfalfa leaf feeding in regional hay fields. In the two most recent growing seasons farmers harvested almost 100% of planted acres with few drowned out areas, that is not likely in this region in 2024.

 
Region 3
08/17/2023, United States
Russ Higgins

Again, sounding like a broken record, hit or miss on rainfall for areas in NE Illinois. This past week some fields received inches while others received tenths. While management decisions are dwindling this late in the growing season, we can still learn from field visits. An area in a soybean field that from the road I predicted to be SDS or BSR turned out to be White Mold. While scouting I’m also noting vines becoming more visible, most on field edges, predominantly morningglories, but also Burcucumber. The morningglories can be frustrating during harvest, but Burcucumber can wrap on the reel and bring harvest to a stop. If you find areas with significant amounts of Burcucumber you may consider a harvest aid treatment. We are almost R5 for both crops, near dent stage in our corn and at or near beginning seed in our soybean. Continued low insect and disease pressure in fields I have visited.

 
Region 3
08/05/2023, Livingston
Karen Corrigan

Much needed 1.25” of rain this morning. Some soybeans are being sprayed with fungicides and insecticides. Corn spraying is finished for now. Several mornings this week had fog and heavy dew. Will be watching for disease to develop in the corn.

 
Region 3
07/27/2023, United States
Russ Higgins

It’s hot! Temperatures exceeding 90 degrees for consecutive days in NE Illinois. Despite the ambient temperature both corn and soy fields are holding up well, but additional rainfall would be welcome. Most corn fields are at or near R3, the milk stage. Some ears have visible aborted kernels at the ear tip. There has been minimal to no leaf disease in corn fields that I have visited, but plan on staying diligent and listening to local reports and regional reporting resources including the Corn ipmPIPE for Tar Spot https://corn.ipmpipe.org/tarspot/ to be aware of areas where crop disease has been detected. The soy crop has responded to recent rains with increases in vegetative growth and most fields are at or near R3 or Beginning pod. When scouting fields, it is still not too late to look for symptomology of herbicide damage in fields.

 
Region 3
07/21/2023, McLean
Karen Corrigan

Crop is moving along. The high temperature next week are going to be tough with no moisture in the forecast. Corn stalks have moved the potassium from the lower nodes towards the ears, weakening stalks.

 
Region 3
07/20/2023, United States
Russ Higgins

Wheat harvest has mostly wrapped up in NE Illinois. This week fungicide applications started in earnest, I observed fields sprayed by plane, helicopter, ground rigs and a drone! Many growers simply include a fungicide application in their management plan; however, we still encourage scouting to determine disease pressure before committing to a fungicide application. Being aware of requirements and favorable conditions for certain diseases. Examples include Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Tar Spot, both require extended periods of leaf wetness (6 – 7 Hours) for establishment. With recent rainfall many have noted early morning mist settling over some fields, facilitating the leaf wetness requirement. For those still considering an application, the Fungicide Efficacy Guides (from Land Grant Universities) have been updated for 2023 and can be accessed at https://cropprotectionnetwork.org/news/fungicide-efficacy-guides-updated-for-2023
Will the dry weather in June and resulting shorter corn plants have an effect on final yield? One of the things I have noted scouting some corn fields is the amount of light reaching the ground. In my experience during good growing seasons very little light reaches the ground at R1. As the picture demonstrates, that is not the case in all fields this year.

 
Region 3
07/13/2023, United States
Russ Higgins

Another week with precipitation, July has been much more favorable than June for northeast Illinois crops. Even with the rain, some no-till soy fields are noticeably lagging in growth behind tilled fields in our area, especially on lighter ground. Those scouting fields have an opportunity to evaluate their post herbicide applications. For many, these applications took place under very dry and unfavorable conditions. Post control and residual activity or lack thereof is evident in some fields. Waterhemp is pushing through the soy canopy and growing well in corn fields as well. Most corn fields are at or near the critical R1 or silk stage, most soy is at or near R2 or full flower/bloom stage. While scouting I noted my first Northern and Western corn rootworm adults in the area. Local wheat harvest has started and stopped between recent rains.

 
Region 3
07/06/2023, United States
Russ Higgins

Welcome and timely precipitation this past week in NE Illinois. Some areas had 3+ inches of rainfall but most had less. Adequate for now, but continued precipitation would be welcome for many. Some of the earliest planted or shorter season hybrids are starting to tassel. The emergence of tassels visibly illustrates the lack of uniform growth in some fields, likely due to earlier season stresses. Soybean are currently R1 nearing R2 (full flower). Japanese beetle adults can now be found leaf feeding. Recent rains have mostly halted the wheat harvest in northern Illinois. Potato leafhopper damage clearly detected in Alfalfa fields.

 
Region 3
06/28/2023, United States
Russ Higgins

Some fortunate NE farms received up to an inch of rain this past week. The rainfall helped our soy crop initiate new trifoliates, improving field aesthetics by hiding leaves present when post-herbicides were applied, giving some fields a “dinged” appearance. While recent rainfall was welcomed, signs of a very dry early vegetative season, and drought conditions, persist. Corn and soy are smaller than normally expected as we near July in our region. The competition for early season soil moisture is evident in corn fields having trees on their perimeter. Wheat harvest has yet to start in northern Illinois.

 
Region 3
06/21/2023,
Russ Higgins

Another week without a hint of precipitation in most of NE Illinois, soy has basically stopped growing and corn fields are struggling to canopy between rows. My thermometer is registering 99 degrees this afternoon. I truly hope to share a different story next week, there is concern on how long these crops can hang on before suffering significant yield consequences.

 
Region 3
06/16/2023, Woodford and McLean
Karen Corrigan

Conditions change field to field depending on root establishment and moisture. Traveled through eastern Iowa this week and hills look really rough. Armyworm is taking out corn, soybeans and wheat in that area also. Iowa was also dry last year.

 
Region 3
06/15/2023,
Russ Higgins

In Northeast Illinois fortunate farmers and farms received measurable rain, those that didn’t continue to watch their crops struggle in drought conditions. While most are familiar with a corn plants defense mechanism of leaf wrapping to lessen moisture loss, soy has defense mechanisms as well. Under moisture limited conditions or excessive temperature, soybean plants will flip over their leaves. This exposes their silvery-green underside which reflects more light. This process can reduce temperature stress for the plant until it experiences more favorable conditions. Even under stress, I noted the first flowers on Soy plants this week. While our preference is to have a stress-free growing season, stress during the vegetative stages of both corn and soy are less likely to have yield impacts when compared to the reproductive stages if conditions improve. Scouting V10 corn, I noted an insect egg mass on an upper leaf hatching nymphs. What did I find? Confirmed by Dr. Nick Seiter, University of Illinois entomologist, as Stink bugs.

 
Region 3
06/14/2023, Iroquois
Stephanie Porter

This field has now shown yellowing or K deficiency in large areas for this year and two years ago in corn. Very, dry which only enhances the K deficiency symptoms. No other fields in the area showing symptoms. No spring N was applied at or near planting. We plan to investigate further.

 
Region 3
06/09/2023, McLean
Karen Corrigan

Fingers crossed for Sunday’s predicted forecast.

 
Region 3
06/07/2023,
Russ Higgins

Many areas in Northeastern Illinois are experiencing a level of drought conditions. Corn is wrapping in some fields during the day in response to temperatures and lack of moisture. Soybean growth has slowed and most are hoping for more favorable conditions before applying post herbicides in this crop. When applied under the dry conditions post corn herbicide conditions were less than ideal. We encourage growers to evaluate the effectiveness of the applications within 1 to 2 weeks. Wheat in the area appears to be hastening to maturity, it may be an early wheat harvest in northern Illinois.

 
Region 3
06/01/2023,
Russ Higgins

Northeastern Illinois is turning dry. Post herbicide applications are taking place in corn fields. Despite dry conditions weed growth and diversity of species has been impressive in some fields, including robust vining weeds including Burcucumber and Morningglory. Early planted corn is at V6 and Soy at V2. I received reports of heavy Alfalfa weevil feeding and below average tonnage from the first cutting of hay in the region. A reminder, mechanical harvest is an effective cultural control of this pest. The Alfalfa weevil has one generation per year and overwinters as an adult. Mowing and harvesting the field removes the insect’s food and shelter. In addition, harvesting the crop can expose the larvae to sunlight which can be lethal. While the Alfalfa weevil window of damage is nearly over, farmers are encouraged to continue to scout for other forage pests that can cause damage in future cuttings including Potato leafhopper.

 
Region 3
05/24/2023,
Russ Higgins

Much of Northeastern Illinois has had a precipitation-free week. Soils are drying rapidly. Soy planted just before the most recent rainfall event is struggling to emerge in some fields. The soy hypocotyl cannot push through the crusted soil surface. Fields planted in this time period warrant a field scouting trip to evaluate emerged plant population. Most corn is near the V4 stage, Waterhemp has also emerged and is growing quickly in fields. Be aware of size restrictions on both crop and weeds with planned post herbicide applications. Sidedressing of corn with nitrogen and harvesting the first cutting of hay is underway in the region.

 
Region 3
05/23/2023, LaSalle
Crystal Williams

Welcomed sunshine provides a boost in early season crop growth! This dry period has allowed fields to be evaluated and planned for replant as well as ponding to go away.

 
Region 3
05/12/2023, LaSalle
Crystal Williams

This area received variable rains that halted planting. Some areas received anywhere from 0.75” to 5” early this week, and are receiving another 0.5” today. Planting is wrapping up for the area.

 
Region 3
05/10/2023,
Russ Higgins

Mostly favorable growing conditions in NE Illinois. Spotty precipitation slowed some farmers who are trying to wrap up the 2023 planting season. Cooler soils slowed some soybean emergence, especially in high residue No-till fields. Those scouting soybean fields have reported some emerging soy exhibiting discolored cotyledons. Likely causes can include stressful emergence conditions, diseases, herbicide injury from pre-emergent herbicides (likely PPO-inhibiting herbicides whose injury to emerging soybeans is enhanced by cool and wet conditions). If the cotyledons have a distinctive “halo'” on the cotyledon and the soy planted was seed-treated with the fungicide fluopyram (ILeVO), the browning is the result of phytotoxicity caused by accumulation of the fungicide in the cotyledon. We encourage early season scouting but also suggest farmers observe their soybean fields for several days to a week of favorable growing conditions before making rash replant decisions. Soybean are a resilient crop that often outgrow early season issues.

 
Region 3
05/10/2023,
Russ Higgins

Sunshine and heat, finally! Favorable growing conditions in NE Illinois. The sunshine, warmth, and needed rain gave a boost to both corn and soybean that had been slowly trying to emerge and grow. Despite concerns, I have heard few reports of emergence issues with seed sitting in cool soils for extended periods. This past weekend most areas measured between .3 to over an inch of rain. Isolated areas near Channahon and in Kankakee received 2+ inches. Soybean planting is starting to resume in the area.

 
Region 3
04/24/2023,
Karen Corrigan

Damp and cold

 
Region 3
04/21/2023,
Karen Corrigan

Sprayers are out! The next few days will be great drying weather and I’ve heard Wednesday is the Go day for many farmers in McLean County.