Talon Becker 
IL Extension
tbecker2@illinois.edu

Talon Becker 
IL Extension
tbecker2@illinois.edu

TALON BECKER UPDATES

Region 3
06/04/2024, Iroquois
Talon Becker

There is quite a bit of variability between fields in corn and soybean growth stage in Iroquois County. I saw very few unplanted fields, but there were several planted within the last few days an yet to emerge. The majority of corn observed was around the V2/V3 growth stage, with a few fields closer to V5/V6. Most soybeans were at late VC or early V1, but I found a few fields with most plants at V3/V4 plants and at least a couple plants at early R1. The few wheat fields I saw looked to be progressing well into senescence with minimal lodging at this point. Soil moisture conditions were generally good, with the occasional muddy spot visible in some fields. Some uneven emergence and uneven color, particularly in corn, was observed in these wetter fields, but these areas could still recover if they don’t get hit by too much rain in the near term.

 
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
05/21/2024, 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 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 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
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
09/01/2023, 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
08/18/2023, 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.