Region Updates

Region 5
07/14/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

Million dollar rain, corn tassels, soybean blooms, Japanese beetles and more!

 
Region 5
07/10/2024, United States
Doug Gucker

The recent rains from the remnants of Beryl delivered much needed rains to my 3-county area with totals ranging from 1.25 to 3.7 inches. This has been in US Drought Monitor categories: Abnormally Dry to Moderate Drought. At this moment, the corn varies from pollination (R2) to nearly VT stage. All soybeans are blooming with some setting pods. Currently, corn leaf diseases are hard to find and soybeans are suffering some leaf feeding from Japanese beetles.

 
Region 5
07/03/2024, United States
Doug Gucker

The rainfall has been quite variable across my 3-county area with some areas receiving less than 25% of normal and other areas with near-normal precipitation. In the dry areas, crops are showing the moisture stress in the heat of the day. Early planted corn is in the R! stage, silking. Wheat harvest is done and double-crop soybean planting is finished, this is early for my part of the state.

 
Region 5
07/02/2024, Champaign
Talon Becker

I took a loop around northern Champaign County this week. With the exception of seed corn fields, all corn I saw was at least V7 or larger, with most in the V10-V12 range. Many fields are showing tassels, and I found one field at full R1 with silks emerged and pollen shedding. Soybeans were anywhere from recently emerged, generally in an apparent replant situation, to R2. Despite the wet conditions that caused these delayed plantings, conditions are now a bit on the dry side in that part of the county. Although not visible in every field, a good portion of the corn fields were showing some rolled leaves in the mid-afternoon heat. The issue was not widespread quite yet, and soil moisture could be found only a few inches deep in most fields I visited. But that said, I think most would welcome a nice 0.5-1 inch rain shower in the coming days.

 
Region 5
06/28/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

The last two weeks have been hot and basically dry. A rain shower 2 weeks ago has kept us going but we have been included in the drought monitor areas again. Crops are continuing to hold their own and look decent for what they have been through. With dry weather, roots are going downward, but with high temperatures this corn crop is growing upward in a hurry. A field I scouted the other day is 7 leave away from tassel. I saw another field with tassels just spiking out. Soybeans continue to be in their ugly slow growing stages. Hopefully some rain will come, and they can keep on growing.

 
Region 5
06/19/2024, Douglas
Talon Becker

The recent hot weather and relative lack of rain is starting to show in the corn and soybean fields in Douglas County. Estimates from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center show the county has received approximately 1 – 1.5 inches of rain since the first of the month, which is 1.5 – 2 inches below the 30-year average (1991 – 2020). Most corn fields I saw during my drive around the county in the early afternoon were showing some degree of drought stress with rolled leaves. More mature plants at V10+ were generally only showing rolled leaves near the top of the plant, while leaves on corn still in the V3-V6 were fully rolled up. I saw an even greater range in soybean growth stage across the county, with some fields recently emerged and still at VC while others were well into flowering with most plants at R2. Weed control was also variable. Although most fields looked relatively clean, I found a couple corn fields with heavy waterhemp pressure and even more soybean fields with well-established waterhemp, marestail, volunteer corn, and some morningglories starting to take off.

 
Region 5
06/14/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

After a busy week of finishing up planting, replanting and every other aspect of farming, we received a rain last night that will help us make it through the approaching heatwave.

 
Region 5
06/12/2024, Champaign
Talon Becker

As is the story with much of the surrounding area, there have been a range of planting dates for row crop fields in Champaign County. In my loop through the southern half of the county, I saw a field that had just been planted within the last day or two as well as soybeans at the V3/4 stage and corn at V7/8. This range of plant maturity also exists within some fields, with replanted areas and other areas that were slowed in emergence and growth by standing water and/or saturated soils are pretty common across the county. The most advanced soybeans will likely be flowering soon, if not already. In the couple fields I stopped at, I couldn’t find an open flower quite yet. For corn, there was a good proportion of fields, maybe 20%, that are at V6 or later and really starting to take off. These plants will likely deal with the coming heat much better than those that are younger, smaller, and have less developed root systems. Hopefully, with how wet we have been in this area lately, most of those later planted fields will still have sufficient moisture available for these young plants as we get into the 90+ degree weather in the coming days.

 
Region 5
06/05/2024, Champaign
Nick Seiter

I have received a few reports of cutworm injury, one from black cutworm and one from variegated cutworm. This injury should wind down once corn reaches V5 or so, but continue to monitor later planted corn (especially in fields where winter annual vegetation was present close to planting time).

 
Region 5
05/31/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

After receiving and unexpected 1.5-5 inches of rain last Friday and Saturday, it has again been the waiting game to allow things to dry out. Top soil is extremely hard after the pounding rains we received last Friday. Crops are struggling to get out of the ground and very uneven stands. We could use a light rain to help with emergence.

 
Region 5
05/29/2024, United States
Doug Gucker

Early planted corn and soybean fields are in the V6 and 3rd trifoliate stages, respectively. Most fields in the area are planted, but there are still a few fields have to be planted in the areas that received heavy rains. Ponding in planted fields is a problem in some areas. The emerged crops look good but there is a wide range in plant growth.
The few wheat fields in area are looking good with very little head scab and plant health generally looks good.

 
Region 5
05/28/2024, Coles
Talon Becker

The crop in Coles County appears to be off to a good start. Of the fields observed during my transect of the county (5/28), I would estimate approximately 80-90% of fields had been planted, with 60-70% emerged. The majority of those emerged fields were still at early growth stages, but I did find a few corn fields at V4+. The little wheat I saw in the southwest portion of the county was starting to senesce. Soil conditions looked good. I did not see any water standing and only the occasional wet/muddy spot where the crop still looked healthy. These conditions also likely helped with applications of timely post-emergence weed control. I saw only a couple of fields that were in need of attention in that respect.

 
Region 5
05/24/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

Well, I wrote this on Thursday night and lost what I had written. I had not made it back, and what I had written last night was completely different. We were off to the races with a lot of growers finishing up, planting in mild to ideal conditions after the rain last week. Today, we got slammed with a huge rain, and more on the way.

 
Region 5
05/23/2024, Champaign
Nick Seiter

Black cutworm larvae should be approaching cutting size in most of Illinois – it’s a good time to scout fields where winter annuals were a problem at or around planting. We are right at 50% egg hatch for corn rootworms in central Illinois, so larval feeding will be occurring over the next several weeks.

 
Region 5
05/21/2024, Douglas
Talon Becker

Field conditions around Douglas County during my transect on Tuesday (5/21) were quite variable. I saw several fields with pockets of standing water, some in emerged crop that will likely require replant. But then, a couple miles down the road, there were planters running and dust flying in the high winds that were experienced by much of the state that day. I would estimate that 60-70% of fields I observed were planted, with 30-40% emerged. Most emerged corn and soybeans were still at early stages, but I did come across a few V4/5 corn fields that were planted prior to our recent wet spell. The majority of unplanted fields, tilled and no-till (so far), with and without grass cover crops (primarily cereal rye), had a burndown application or a first spring tillage pass, but there were a few exceptions in some wetter areas. Post-emergence weed control will be needed soon in several fields.

 
Region 5
05/20/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Cooler weather to begin the week and growers taking advantage of windows of opportunities to plant and finding fields that will plant.
Finishing the week with what was supposed to be a dry spell, but areas ended up getting rained out!

 
Region 5
05/15/2024, Macon
Doug Gucker

Over the past week, rainfall in the three-county area of DeWitt, Macon, & Piatt has varied from about 0.25 to over 1.5 inches. Farmers were able to resume planting again this past weekend for a few days in some areas. Early planted corn and soybeans are in the V3 and V1 stages, respectively. Planting progress varies from nearly complete to 40% complete depending on how wet the soils have been.
Some fields are being planted without the emerged weeds being controlled by burndown herbicide applications or tillage.

 
Region 5
05/15/2024, Champaign
Nick Seiter

Alfalfa weevil reports have started to wind down a bit as the insects cycle out – they’re still out there in some areas, so stay vigilant. Black cutworm larvae will soon be large enough to cut plants and reduce stands; projected cutting dates based on moth trap densities and degree day accumulations are available here: https://corn.ipmpipe.org/insects/black-cutworm/ (map at bottom of page). Pay special attention to fields where winter annual weed control was delayed and broadleaf weeds are present in the field and/or dying while the crop is emerging. (A clean corn field is not a very attractive oviposition site for the moths and usually will not experience much cutting). Even in areas with high moth numbers, injury is sporadic, so don’t assume you’ll need to control just because you have some weeds.

 
Region 5
05/10/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

We are slowly starting to dry out. Areas are starting to miss the higher rain totals and there are a few more areas finding the opportunity to get into the field.

 
Region 5
05/08/2024, Vermilion
Talon Becker

Conditions in central to southeast Vermilion County are a little dryer than we are a bit further west in Champaign County. I did not see any ponded areas in fields during my transect, although there were some low areas that were a bit on the muddy side. In that part of the county, approximately 30% of fields have emerged and another 30% has been recently planted. Of what has emerged, fields tended to be fairly evenly split between corn and soybeans, with possibly a few more corn acres out of the ground. Of the remainder, most no-till ground has been sprayed, with a few exceptions. Emerged corn and soy fields ranged from VE to V1-2 for corn and VE to VC for soybeans. I did stumble upon a couple wheat fields, both of which appeared to be at full flower or just past. I also found several cover crop fields in the south-central part of the county, most of which had been terminated a week or two prior. The remaining cover crop fields I saw were likely recently sprayed or on the docket to be done soon, as I saw one rig running and the operator hoping for the rains to hold off a bit longer.

 
Region 5
05/08/2024, Macon
Doug Gucker

Over the past week, the rainfall in my 3 counties – DeWitt, Piatt & Macon has varied from less than 0.5 inch to over 1 inch. Planting started again at the end of last week for a couple days then started again on Monday after the weekend rains.
Corn planted the week of April 10 is in V1 stage approaching V2 and soybean plants are in the unifoliate. About half the fields are planted at this time.

 
Region 5
05/07/2024, Champaign
Nick Seiter

Reports of alfalfa weevil have been coming in pretty consistently for the last several weeks; we’ve now received reports as far north as Rockford. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to scout your alfalfa – look for defoliation (alfalfa weevil is the most likely culprit at this early stage) and confirm the continued presence of the small, green larvae before taking action. If you have a serious infestation and are in position to do so, consider cutting early to reduce the potential for further damage. Insecticide options are somewhat limited, and failures with lambda-cyhalothrin have been reported this spring.

 
Region 5
05/03/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

Unfortunately, very little to report this week, but I believe most of the surrounding areas of Champaign County are in the same situation. The good news is, we have warmer temperatures, so even as it rains, it will dry the top soil out quicker than when it was cooler. Stay patient with the soil. If you can, allow it to dry to ideal conditions for planting to avoid sidewall compaction when you plant or overall compaction.

 
Region 5
05/01/2024, Montgomery
Stephanie Porter

Both corn and soybeans that were planted April 8th and 9th have emerged. Planting and other field activities have halted due to several inches of previous rain over the weekend. We continue to catch cutworm moths.

 
Region 5
04/26/2024, Champaign
Shelby Weckel

Pockets of activity SW & NW of Champaign, as well as scattered in other areas. We missed the rain on 4/19 and that pushed growers to head to the field. Mainly soybean planting, but there has been some corn planted as well. Cooler Temps and a cold rain, will take its toll on corn emergence. Soybeans that were up, seemed to survive the light frost we had on 4/25. A warm up is on the way, and once the rain had moved out, this looks like a great opportunity to get rolling.

 
Region 5
04/23/2024, Montgomery
Stephanie Porter

There is a lot of fieldwork going on including planting. It is very, important to be on the lookout and cautious when driving because of the high number of farm equipment moving about the countryside. We are hoping to miss the rain today (if possible) to have a wider planting window, which has not been possible the last several weeks due to rain. I have been finding 3 to 7 black cutworm moths as well as 1 armyworm moth in traps this past week.

 
Region 5
09/15/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

#Harvest23 is under way! As suspected the corn yields are coming in 5-7% less than 2022 and on par with elevator tour estimates. 225-230 at 22-26%. Soybeans have been sparse so far with only 2 known fields harvested with and average of 64.
Plant health in corn continues to fade rapidly. A good shower of rain would help even up a large number of soybean acres to cut next week.

 
Region 5
09/09/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

The corn and soybean crop in northeast Champaign County is continuing to progress towards maturity. Average temperatures have started to decline, but many fields of corn and soybean are either at, or more commonly, approaching physiological maturity. Some later season soybeans are still very green across their canopy, but those fields are generally at or very near R6 (full seed). Approximately 10% of soybean fields I saw in my tour through that portion of the county were in the later stages of R7 (beginning maturity), while most were at R6 (full seed) and early R7. A similar proportion, although probably a bit lower than 10%, of corn fields appeared to be at R6 (physiological maturity/black layer) based on field checks and a windshield survey.

 
Region 5
09/06/2023, United States
Doug Gucker

Here in my 3 county area (DeWitt, Macon & Piatt), soybeans are in either R7 – Beginning Maturity or R8 – Full Maturity stage. All corn fields are in the Dent or R5 stage with many fields in the R6 – Physiological Maturity. A few farmers have started to harvest mature early corn varieties. Noting grasshopper feeding damage on field edges (see photo). Areas of local fields where corn was stressed during grain fill are showing signs of stalk quality issues and lodging. It might be worth your time to check stalk quality in corn fields to prevent lodging losses.

 
Region 5
09/01/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

I wish I could take the stance “If don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This crop is loosing its luster quickly. Insect feeding and soybean vein necrosis virus is severely limiting the plant’s ability to finish. Compound that with abnormally dry soil conditions and it’s just a bad combination. Corn and beans are going to limp across the finish line. That checkered flag will come soon than we expect when the heat returns this weekend.

 
Region 5
09/01/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

Both corn and soy crops in western Champaign County are getting closer to maturity, as leaf senescence has started in several fields in that area. Corn fields I surveyed were all at mid to late R5 (dent) stages. Yields look to be somewhat variable, with a few fields having some consistently large ears and minimal tipback, while others were more affected by the droughty conditions of the season and/or weed pressure issues and will probably result in yields slightly below an expected trendline average for the county. Several soybean fields are also starting to show leaf senescence, with most at R6 (full seed) and some fields with a few plants edging into R7 (beginning maturity).

 
Region 5
08/25/2023, Vermilion
Talon Becker

This week, I visited fields in southwestern Vermilion County. Disease levels in both corn and soybean fields was minimal; I observed only a few isolated areas in soybean fields with foliar disease symptoms. Soybeans are mostly at R6 (full pod), but a few fields were still lagging behind closer to R5. Corn fields I visited were in early to mid-R5 (dent). Ear fill was good in most fields I check, but I did find a couple fields that are struggling, with varying degrees of tipback as well as kernels aborted later in seed fill.

 
Region 5
08/24/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

Much needed sunshine returned and with it HEAT. Pod shed was seen in many fields after an overcast and fairly wet previous 10 day stretch. SDS continues to show up in many fields. Reports of white mold are starting to trickle in as well. Corn is 1/2-3/4 milk line. This heat will speed up maturity. Local elevator tours showed an estimated average of 215 bu/acre.

 
Region 5
08/23/2023, United States
Doug Gucker

Here in my 3 county area (DeWitt, Macon & Piatt), soybeans for the most part are in Full Seed or R6 stage. Most all corn fields are in the Dent or R5 stage with the milk line clearly visible. Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus (SVNV) is showing up in area fields should not affect yield and is caused by juvenile soybean thrips damage earlier in the season.

 
Region 5
08/18/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

I visited fields in western Champaign County this week. Soil conditions are starting to dry in the top inch or so, but there is still plenty of moisture below the surface. Disease in both corn and soybean fields appears to still be minimal. That said, I did come across a couple small pockets in two soybean fields with symptoms consistent with sudden death syndrome. Soybeans are between R5 (beginning pod) and R6 (full pod), with new growth still occurring. Corn fields I visited were in late R4 (dough) into R5 (dent). Representative ears from different fields showed variable ear sizes and degrees of tipback.

 
Region 5
08/11/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

Soils in southwestern Champaign County are now well saturated following several rainy days since last weekend. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center estimates 2.5″ to 4″ across the county, although the true range may be slightly larger. A few corn fields in the area are still showing a good amount of goose necking from high winds earlier in the season and may present harvest challenges if not harvested before stalks loose too much of their integrity. Several corn fields also showed a fairly high level of ear to ear size variability within small areas of the field. Corn in the fields I visited were at early R4 (dough) to early R5 (dent). Soybean fields are well into R5 (beginning seed) with some fields closer to R6 (full seed). There is also some new pods starting to form following the return of soil moisture.

 
Region 5
08/10/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

Weekend rains delivered much needed relief from severe drought stress. Locally totals ranged from 1.5” to 5.5”. These rains will allow soybeans to hold pods and begin filling the lower pods. It was especially important for corn to allow grain fill without cannibalism of the plant.

 
Region 5
08/04/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

As we slip back into an extremely dry and stressful point in the growing season, more stresses are appearing. Fungicide applications made during last weeks extremely hot stretch brought out symptoms from Triazole sensitivity. SDS is showing up on early planted soybeans in areas of stress or compaction. Corn is showing tip back post pollination in the dryers areas.

 
Region 5
08/03/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

With little rain over the past week, perhaps a few tenths over the weekend, soil conditions in most of Champaign County are on the dry side. However, most fields of both corn and soy look relatively healthy with minimal external signs of drought stress. Measurements from the local Illinois Soil and Water Survey monitoring station show plant-available soil moisture at depths of 8+ inches, and it seems that most crops in the area have been able to reach some of that deeper soil moisture. That said, signs of drought stress including stunted plants and dying lower canopy leaves can be found in compacted areas of fields as well as the few hilltops we have in the county. Tip dieback and ear size was variable in the corn fields I surveyed, and most were in the late R3 (milk) growth stage moving into early R4 (dough). Soybeans were generally around R5 (beginning seed).

 
Region 5
07/27/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

I’ve received several reports of corn rootworms breaking through pyramided Bt traits over the last couple of weeks. Most of these are in the usual areas north of I-80, but I was able to collect a population from Sangamon County last week and had reports from Putnam and Bureau. Continuous corn is virtually always the culprit in these cases. We are always looking for both western and northern corn rootworm populations to bioassay; if you have large numbers of adults and wouldn’t mind us coming out to collect them, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 
Region 5
07/27/2023, United States
Doug Gucker

With my area still listed as being in “Moderate Drought”, crops are still looking good. Most soybean fields are in the “full pod” or R4 stage. I surveyed 50 consecutive soybean fields on my drive and 13 (26%) of those fields had weed escapes present across the field and volunteer corn was not considered a weed escape. This is another effect of this year’s dry spring weather on the effectiveness of residual and post-emergent herbicides. Most corn fields are in the late “milk” or R3 stage or beginning “dough” or R4 stage. There is some tipback on the corn ears present. Very little leaf disease is showing up in area crop fields, which is common in a drought.

 
Region 5
07/21/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

This week, I visited fields in central Champaign County. With much of the recently forecasted rain missing the area, soils are starting to dry up again. Digging down in a few field, there is still some moisture present a few inches below the surface, but that too is starting to dry. Plants do not looked stress at this point in time, but that could change quickly with a warm week ahead of us an minimal chances for rain in the current forecast. The vast majority of corn fields I visited had finished pollination, and were generally at blister (R2) or milk (R3) stages. Soybeans were generally at beginning pod (R3) to full pod (R4). Weed control was variable, with most pressure coming from waterhemp, and a few morning glories here and there. From the road, many soybean fields still look rather clean, but waterhemp pushing through the canopy is also starting to become a more common sight in the area.

 
Region 5
07/20/2023, Shelby
Stephanie Porter

Abigail Peterson unfortunately found red crown rot when scouting one of here cover crop side by side trials. I went there to investigate further and it is coming to light that this disease may have spread across Shelby County. We also found it in one field in Macon County.

 
Region 5
07/20/2023, United States
Doug Gucker

During my 40-mile crop survey across DeWitt, Macon and Piatt counties, I noticed several things. First, the very spotty nature of the recent rains with water standing in a field and a mile away it was powder dry. Second, it seems that residual weed control is not lasting long enough in some 30-inch row soybeans. I saw applicators in two fields spraying to control amaranth in 30-inch soybeans and other fields that had been sprayed in the past week. Third, the effects of the violent storms in late June that crossed the area are particularly evident in corn fields showing tattered leaves or elbowed stalks.
Soybeans for the most part are in the R3 growth stage with early planted fields approaching the R4 stage. Corn field growth stages varying from R2 (blister) to R3 (milk).

 
Region 5
07/20/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

Nice weather for corn pollination. Still need consistent rain showers of .75-1.5” per week to maintain yield potential. Soybeans are R2-R3.
Insect pressure is moderate.

 
Region 5
07/13/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

For this week’s report, I visited fields in northeast Champaign County. Overall, crops look to be recovering well from the early drought stress. Soil moisture was close to optimal in the fields I visited. And with some moderate rain in the forecast, soil moisture is likely to remain adequate through the next couple of weeks. The majority of corn fields are in full pollination, while there were a few I spotted that are just starting to show tassels and a few others that were nearing the end of pollen shed. Soybeans have closed their canopy on most fields and are at R2-R3. I came across one small wheat field that was harvested, but there were no signs yet of an attempt at planting a double-crop soybean in that field. Weed pressure, largely waterhemp, was present in all the corn fields I visited, but was generally low to moderate. Soybean fields showed a variety of conditions; most appeared relatively clean while there were a few that had some serious issues with waterhemp and volunteer corn.

 
Region 5
07/12/2023, United States
Doug Gucker

Most corn is in R1 with a few fields at R2 (blister) stage. R2 stage corn looks to have had good pollination take place. Soybean fields are in or approaching the R3 stage with good pod set on the stems. Noting a wide variety of defoliators in the fields but not at damaging levels. At this time, I have not seen leaf diseases of note on corn or soybeans.

 
Region 5
07/07/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

I remain concerned about spider mites in areas which are under drought stress; I received a report this morning about mite problems in White County. Hopefully the rains this past week have slowed them down, but stay vigilant in areas under drought stress. Corn rootworm adult emergence should be well under way throughout the state. As most of the rootworm adults will still be in the field they emerged from, this is a good time to inspect fields to get a feel for the extent of your rootworm problem and how your traits/insecticides are performing. If you have high adult emergence, consider digging some roots to assess the extent of larval damage.

Speaking of damage, we learned how corn rootworm emergence tents hold up to an 85-mph derecho; not well, as it turns out. However, it was probably worth the damage to get some healing rains.

 
Region 5
07/07/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

Extremely welcome rains came across our area last week. Totals were .75-3”. Some storm damage south and along I74. Beans will likely canopy in the next 10 days. Corn is beginning to tassel, but looks extremely uneven.

 
Region 5
07/07/2023, Douglas
Talon Becker

This week, I took a drive into Douglas County to check out crop conditions. As is the story around much of the area, there are a lot of uneven corn fields as well as stunted soybeans still some ways from closing their canopy. In the fields I visited, soil moisture was variable. Some were relatively dry in the top inch or two, while others appeared to be at or near field capacity. Soybeans ranged from very early R1 to early R3. Most corn was tasseling or within a leaf or two of doing so. Some was in full flower with silks several inches long. Fields in full flower right now appeared to have more even growth across the field, while those that may have been planted a bit later or experienced drought stress a bit earlier ranged from V10-11 to R1 on plants within several yards of each other. Weed pressure, notable waterhemp, was also moderate to significant in areas of corn fields where corn plants were shorter.

 
Region 5
06/29/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

The area received some much-needed rain. The ISWS weather stations in Bondville and Champaign recorded 1.12″ and 0.85″, respectively. On my drive back from a field day in Christian County (after riding out the storm in Pana) the storm damage appeared to be isolated largely to toppled trees and fallen limbs. While there was generally an eastward lean to most of the corn fields, I did not see any greensnap or large areas of flattened corn, at least on the field margins. The images below, taken between Villa Grove and Philo in Champaign County, are from a corn field with the most severe wind damage I found. Some of the corn is on the ground, but most plants looked to still be well-rooted and will likely stand back up over the next several days, albeit a bit “goose-necked”. Soybean fields looked unharmed and and still generally in the R2 phase. But they will likely put on quite a bit of growth and start setting some pods in the next couple weeks with more adequate moisture now available.

 
Region 5
06/29/2023, Champaign
Emerson Nafziger

Much-anticipated rainfall fell across much of central Illinois on Thursday, June 29, accompanied by high winds and hail in some places. More rain is forecast in coming days, and we hope this means an end to the drought of 2023. It would be better if the rain came more slowly without hail, but we won’t complain. Two inches or so of rain over the next two weeks should be enough to get corn through pollination in most fields, and to get soybean growth and yield potential back on track.
The fact that corn has stayed relatively short and plants are not as brittle as they would have been with more soil moisture should help the crop withstand windstorms. Short corn can have high yield potential, as long as canopy cover is complete by pollination, and leaves remain healthy. Lower leaves that have lost color may not come back, but nutrient uptake and color of larger leaves should get back to normal. We can expect soybean leaf area to develop rapidly, and having the plants shorter than normal with less internal shading may help pod development and retention as plants continue to flower over the coming weeks.
Rainfall should bring a quick reversal of the recent decline in crop condition ratings of both corn and soybean. Answering the question about whether yield potential has been irreversibly lowered by stress will get easier over the next few weeks as plants resume growth and canopy development. We do expect yield potential to recover well, if perhaps not fully in those fields most affected by drought up to now. That will be helped along by normal rainfall, temperatures, and sunlight in July.

 
Region 5
06/23/2023, Vermillion
Talon Becker

This afternoon, I took a drive through western Vermillion County. Like much of the state, still, conditions are very dry. There was large variability in growth stage between fields. Corn generally fell in the V6-V10 range, although some of the later planted fields are not quite there and appear to have significantly slowed growth. In general, the larger corn looked healthier with less water stress, indicating there is some plant available moisture at the deeper soil levels accessible to roots of these larger plants, but perhaps not by the corn closer to V6. Soybean fields also showed a good deal of variation in terms of overall growth (open trifoliates, nodes, branches, etc.), although most fields I stopped an walked into were showing at least some flowers, with several at R2. Although there was variation in the overall appearance of health in the soybean fields surveyed, there were flipped leaves and signs of water stress in all of them. I did come across one wheat field that looked to have good head size and minimal disease. Harvest for that field is likely just around the corner.

 
Region 5
06/23/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

The dryness ensures. Class A’s holding on but class B’s are struggling. The silver side of leaves in soybeans can now be seen after mid-day. A sign of very dry conditions.

 
Region 5
06/23/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

On a trip to Monmouth this past week I saw the beginning of some likely spider mite infestations; if the drought continues, these become increasingly likely in soybean. This is a great reason to hold off on broad spectrum insecticide applications, which don’t touch the mites but eliminate their natural enemies. (Also, a good reason not to mow your grassways if you don’t have to).

 
Region 5
06/22/2023,
Doug Gucker

Corn, soybeans, and forages are stressed with growth stunted. V10 growth stage corn is barely shoulder high at its highest point. Soybeans planted in 15-inch rows at the end of April are finally closing over. Most corn is in the V7 – V10 growth stage with some at V11. Soybeans vary from V7 to R1. Wheat harvest is just beginning in this part of Illinois (DeWitt, Macon & Piatt Counties). Second cutting hay looks to yield about 50% of first cutting on the average across the the area. Pastures and roadsides are brown where grazed or mowed.

 
Region 5
06/16/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

South of I74 found momentary relief from continued drought conditions. Small pockets along Rt36 had 1.2-2” Sunday. North of 74 received no measurable rain. Crop growth is seemingly paused. Our only saving grace is cooler conditions.

 
Region 5
06/15/2023,
Doug Gucker

My area is dry, but cool nights and cloudy or hazy days are helping to keep stress on the lower end. Corn fields are in growth stage V6 to V10+ for the majority. Corn height is shorter than normal. Soybeans fields vary from V4 to R1 and are shorter then usual. Area wheat fields are looking good with leaf leaves clean and green with harvest getting close.

 
Region 5
06/10/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

At this point it’s becoming a broken record of leading off with drought conditions. Plants have slowed their growth and corn is rolling. Soybeans wanted to shift gears into the rapid growth stage, but will be limited in dry areas. Carryover in soybeans continues to show up.

 
Region 5
06/08/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

I’ve started to receive a few reports of damage from early season caterpillar pests, including true armyworm, black cutworm, and variegated cutworm. Concentrate your scouting efforts on fields that border wheat, other small grains, or had a grass cover crop for armyworm, and fields that had sub-optimal winter annual weed control or a legume cover crop for the cutworm species. If you find larvae, note the sizes – larger (> 1 inch) larvae do the most damage, but are also the closest to pupating and “cycling out” of the damaging stage. Populations of larvae with mixed sizes or that include predominantly smaller larvae will be with us for longer.

 
Region 5
06/02/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

Many areas have slipped into the moderate drought classification. With 95° weather on the horizon, this will intensify very rapidly. Corn and soybeans both are showing the stress. Growers are worried about adding additional stress by post spraying. Herbicide carryover is beginning to be obvious with lack of moisture. Corn seems to passing from primary to nodal root system. Some fields have very awkward and ugly areas. Soybeans look to have started fixing nitrogen from nodules as many fields are to starting to get good color to the leaves.

 
Region 5
05/31/2023,
Doug Gucker

The cool, low humidity nights of late May have caused “silver leaf” to show in local corn fields. According to Purdue University, yield effects are negligible. Corn is mostly in the V5-V7 stage and soybean plants at about the same stage, V6-V7. Topsoil is dry down to 4+ inches fields in fields at the V6-V7 growth stages. Noticing along field edges increasing numbers of amaranth species becoming evident and this family of weeds tolerates hot, dry weather well.

 
Region 5
05/31/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

We should be in the middle of corn rootworm egg hatch in much of the state by the time this report is published. Continue to look out for armyworm injury in & near wheat and other dense grasses (cover crops, weeds, waterways, etc). Black cutworm larvae should be at cutting size throughout the state now, so include them in your scouting efforts, particularly in fields that had sub-optimal winter annual weed control. I have received relatively few reports of early season injury so far.

 
Region 5
05/25/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

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.

 
Region 5
05/24/2023, Macon/Piatt/Champaign
Dennis Bowman

Still dry. Wednesday spotted one pop-up shower that did not even register on radar app. Primary field activities: herbicide application, nitrogen side-dressing and watching corn grow.

 
Region 5
05/24/2023, Macon/Piatt/Champaign
Dennis Bowman

Primary field activities: Replant prairie pot holes, herbicide application, nitrogen side-dressing and hay making. Rapidly drying out and forecast is continuing dry weather.

 
Region 5
05/24/2023,
Doug Gucker

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.

 
Region 5
05/22/2023, DeWitt
Stephanie Porter

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.

 
Region 5
05/19/2023,
Kris Ehler

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.

 
Region 5
05/17/2023, Champaign
Talon Becker

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.

 
Region 5
05/17/2023,
Doug Gucker

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.

 
Region 5
05/12/2023,
Kris Ehler

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.

 
Region 5
05/10/2023, Vermillion
Stephanie Porter

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.

 
Region 5
05/10/2023, DeWitt
Stephanie Porter

The stands of soybeans appeared adequate for 30 inch rows. No signs of pests or other stress.

 
Region 5
05/04/2023,
Doug Gucker

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.

 
Region 5
05/04/2023,
Doug Gucker

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.

 
Region 5
05/03/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

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.

 
Region 5
05/03/2023, Macon
Dennis Bowman

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.

 
Region 5
05/03/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

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.

 
Region 5
05/03/2023, Champaign
Nick Seiter

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).

 
Region 5
04/25/2023, Champaign
Kris Ehler

Soybeans planted 4/10-13 are emerging with freeze and frost potential.

 
Region 5
, Champaign
Talon Becker

Although some rain fell in much of the area this past Sunday, total rainfall was low (0.14” at the Illinois Climate Network (ICN) station in Champaign) and conditions remain dry in Champaign County. ICN soil moisture data show levels below the plant wilting point at 2” and 4” depths, however, at least where these instruments are in place, plant available moisture is still present at 8” and deeper. The lack of soil moisture at the shallower depths is evident when driving around the countryside. Corn plants in drier areas of fields are showing rolled leaves even in the morning hours. By the afternoon, the signs of moisture stress are more prevalent. Most corn plants are somewhere in the V5-V8 stages, and at that size, have at least some roots that are deep enough to reach the soil moisture still available. Soybeans may be struggling a bit more at this point, and their growth seems to have slowed in most fields. The plants still look relatively healthy, and the first flowers are starting to appear. But with little rain in the extended forecast, these early flowers are unlikely to contribute much to final pod counts.