Emerson Nafziger, Agronomy Extension Specialist, University of Illinois

Although rain fell in many places in Central and Northern Illinois last weekend (June 25-26), this week’s drought map shows even more of Illinois in “abnormally dry” (D0) or “moderate drought” (D1) than a week earlier. This is not surprising given that crops are removing more water each day than they did when they were smaller, and evaporation rates have remained high. This means that an inch or more of water can disappear from the soil within three or four days, leaving plants to again struggle to extract water from the soil. Both corn and soybean plants responded quickly to rain by adding height and leaf area, but they remain smaller in many fields than they would normally be this long after planting. If rains return in the coming days, soybean have the potential to recover most of their yield potential. That may not be the case for corn that’s been showing afternoon stress daily, and is within 10 days to two weeks of pollination.

Talon Becker, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, South-Central IL

Much of the South-Central IL region received much needed rain this past weekend. Wheat harvest is completed in most areas, with most double-crop beans planted this week. The earliest planted corn in the area is around V10 and will likely start to show tassel in the next couple weeks. Full-season soybeans are largely in the V3-V4 stage, with maybe a few early planted fields a bit further along.

Doug Gucker, Local Foods Small Farms Extension Educator, Central IL

This part of Illinois is either “abnormally dry” or in “moderate drought” according to the US Drought Monitor. The crops are still looking good considering the dry conditions. Corn is V5 – V9 stage and most soybean fields at the R1 stage. Wheat harvest is underway, second cutting hay is in progress and most post-emergence herbicide applications are completed. Japanese beetles are being seen in soybean fields. The rain storms that have occurred have caused crop damage in scattered fields across this part of Illinois.

Downed corn from June 25 storm.

Phillip Alberti, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Northern IL

Like most of the state, it has been hot and very dry here in NW Illinois. With the drought monitor showing abnormally dry across the region, a quick trip east towards Joliet showed more of the same.

With corn approaching V5 and soybeans around V4, the rain that came to much of Northern Illinois last week could not have come at a better time. Despite rainfall totals being spotty, as they normally are this time of year, the accumulation provided much-needed relief to the stressed crops in the region.

Earlier planted corn and beans appear to be in better shape, as they are more likely to reach any subsoil moisture that remains. Regardless, corn leaves are still rolling in the afternoon and growth is slower than we would like it to be.

With high temperatures and dry conditions stretching over the next few days, let’s hope we can catch another “million dollar rain” (or two) early next week.

Representative corn (V4-V5) in NW Illinois.

Representative soybean (V3-V4) in NW Illinois.

Nathan Johanning, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Southwestern IL

Late last week we finally got a small break in our dry conditions with most of the area getting 0.6 to 0.8 inches of rain. This was coupled with a cool down to the low 80s for the weekend so crops had the moisture and a little less heat stress on crops. Temperatures and humidity have inched up over the week now back to the mid 90s for highs. Crops are starting to show just a little stress by now especially on droughty hillsides but nothing like prior to the rain. The earliest double crop soybeans are just starting to emerge and take off.

Chelsea Harbach, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Northwestern IL

To my surprise, what was forecasted as a 0.4-inch weekend rain in Knox County turned into closer to 3 inches! Sadly, the rain event appeared to be quite spotty, with some areas in western Illinois getting smaller amounts where they needed it most. Later planted soybeans are still struggling, especially where weekend rain accumulation was smaller. On top of that, I’ve seen a lot of (what appears to me as) herbicide damage on a lot of the later-planted soybean fields, too (see image below). These fields that were dinged by drift really need an extra touch of rain to help them come out of the damage. Corn overall is looking good, especially, as expected, the earlier planting dates. As we approach the time of the season when fungicide applications are starting, I ask that you please consider fungicide resistance management in your fields. I wrote a blog on this recently.

Soybean field in Warren County has some obvious damage along the edge of the field. This is a fairly common sight in areas I’ve surveyed in western IL.

Brad Zimmerman, ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy

There are some weeks when it seems that you can hear the corn growing and this week is one of those weeks. I went out of town for 2 days and the beans got bushier, and the corn started to send out the big floppy leaves, typical of the 10th- 12th leaf. I unrolled 6 leaves to get to the tassel, so reproduction is coming soon. We got one-inch last weekend and it was a blessing. Now, wheat harvest commences and sounds like yields are very good with disease at a minimum from the dry weather as it finished.

Baby tassel.

Weston Olson, ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy

Crops are improved from a rain of 9 tenths of an inch, which came at a great time and the crops seem to have grown overnight after that rain. Soybeans are progressing nicely and are in R2 and are starting to bush out and hopefully will be covering the row in a few weeks. Corn is progressing and is growing taller and taller and also looks better now with the rainfall. Going to try about half a field of fungicide application on one of my corn fields and see how the yield improvement and the extra moisture works for our farming operation.

Jeff Shaner, ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy

Plants forming nodes 10-13 right now. Most weed control measures are complete in the region, though waterhemp breakthroughs and feral corn are very noticeable still on many farms. Dry weather has tap roots shooting straight down looking for moisture, which could be a boost later in the season. Soy plants are giving it their all; heavy branching noted in fields where stands were reduced during a tough stretch back at emergence time.

Planted early May, No-till.

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