Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.
Dry conditions persist. Stress from dryness is showing in compacted or root restricted areas. Replant has wrapped up in areas that received large rains 2 weeks ago.
Corn is in the V6 to V2 growth stage, except for replanted areas. Soybeans are V3 to V1 growth stage. Crusting in some soybean fields is causing stand variability where planting was done just ahead of the early May heavy rains. Rotary hoeing may have paid in some of these fields. Currently farmers are side-dressing N in corn and are making post-emergence herbicide applications. The past week saw only minor amounts of rainfall across DeWitt and Macon Counties.
Primary field activities: Replant prairie pot holes, herbicide application, nitrogen side-dressing and hay making. Rapidly drying out and forecast is continuing dry weather.
Some soybeans are showing signs of herbicide injury. Weeds are just starting to emerge. There was some minor bean leaf beetle feeding with a few plants showing signs of Phytopthora root rot.
Spotty rains are moving through the area on Friday, but extremely low humidity and winds have continued to pull what little moisture is there out of the soil. It is concerning with little to no significant rain chances on the horizon and possible 90 Degree temperatures over the holiday weekend. Beans are VC-V3 depending on planting dates. Small pockets of replant for corn and soybeans are seen on western Champaign and Eastern Piatt counties.
In Piatt County, the heavy rains of May 6 -8 have caused some emergence issues in fields planted ahead of those rains. Some fields have been rotary hoed and some not. Wheat fields have finished flowering and look good. Early planted crops are growing well, corn is at V4 and soybean at V2. Ponding damage is visible in poorly drained areas of fields. Only light rain has fallen in the past week.
Most fields in the area are planted and emerged. For the most part, the crop looks to be off to a good start in most fields, with the exception a few low spots where water is or was recently standing following the rains earlier this month. With minimal rain and some warmer temperatures in the near-term forecast, farmers in the area will likely finish up any planting and replanting they have to do in the next week or so.
Last week brought a band of rain through our area with rain totals from .5″ to 4″. In the heaviest of the areas pond took 4-5 days to recede. There may be some replant in these areas. Other areas could use a half inch to aid in emergence of the last planted soybeans. Growers in Nothern Champaign and Southern Ford County postponed planting on 5/7 due to extremely hard soil conditions until after the weekend rain event passed.
Stand counts were taken and were really good on both corn and soybeans. There were a few patches of cereal rye that did not completely die at termination. After further inspection, we found that the seeding depth of the corn was 1 1/2 inches, which is a much shallower depth than planned.
The stands of soybeans appeared adequate for 30 inch rows. No signs of pests or other stress.
2023 planting is nearly done with most farmers in the area finished planting. The dry April weather has allowed spring planting to progress quickly. The cool temperatures for the second half of April has slowed emergence and plant growth of plants that have emerged.
All crops are planted. Corn growth stages vary from emerging to almost V3 with third leaf almost fully developed. Soybean are similar varying between just breaking through the ground to first trifoliate.
Reports of insect activity so far have focused on large/early flights of black cutworm and true armyworm, likely helped along by storms out of the southwest a couple of weeks ago. Both species are more likely to be a problem if dense vegetation is present in the field; black cutworms are especially attracted to winter annual weeds, while armyworm prefers dense grassy vegetation. Be on the lookout for seedling pests (including seed corn maggot, slugs, wireworms, etc.), which can become a problem when cool conditions delay emergence.
On May 3rd, on a crossroad survey of a 60 mile loop across northern and eastern Macon County, 80 percent of fields were planted. Corn emergence out-paced soybean emergence by about 6 to 1. The ratio varied greatly by neighborhood. The only field activity observed was widely scattered planting, dust clouds made it easy to spot.
We are likely in the cutting window in much of the state for black cutworm larvae. I have not received reports of damage yet; in addition to the timing of moth flights, note that the fields at risk of cutworm damage are generally those that have a problem with winter annual weeds – especially when those weeds are dying at around the time the crop emerges. If you had adequate, early control of these winter annuals, even a large moth flight is unlikely to result in much cutworm damage.
Continue to monitor corn and soybean fields for cutworms and armyworms. I have not had many reports of damage to this point – good early season emergence conditions go a long way towards helping the crop “outrun” this sort of damage. We ought to start seeing rootworm egg hatch over the next couple of weeks – I browsed degree day accumulations for several weather stations throughout Illinois, and most are relatively close to the 11 year average for this time of year (some a bit ahead, and some a bit behind).
Soybeans planted 4/10-13 are emerging with freeze and frost potential.