Nick Seiter, Field Crop Insects Extension Specialist, University of Illinois

I received a report of spraying for spider mites in an area of Northeastern Illinois that has missed much of the recent rains; be sure to scout areas that remain drought-stressed for an extended period of time, and avoid unnecessary broad-spectrum insecticides under these conditions.

Trent Ford, Illinois State Climatologist, Illinois State Water Survey

Temperatures this past week in Illinois ranged from the mid-70s to mid-80s, between 1 and 2 degrees above normal. July to date has been within 1 degree of normal in most of Northern and Central Illinois, and 1-2 degrees warmer than normal in Southern Illinois. Carbondale has had 8 days so far this year with a nighttime low temperature above 75 degrees, tied with 1980 and 1934 for the second most on their 120-year record.

Many places got beneficial rain last weekend, and areas in Winnebago, Boone, Clay, and Effingham Counties picked up between 3 and 5 inches. Unfortunately, the driest part of the state got much less, with parts of Piatt, Champaign, and Vermilion Counties picking up less than 0.5” total. The U.S. Drought Monitor improved a lot of drought area in this week’s map in response to the weekend’s rain but also kept severe drought in East-Central Illinois and moderate drought in parts of Northeast and far Southern Illinois.

Looking ahead, following a hot and mostly dry weekend, chances of precipitation increase as we move into next week. 7-day forecasted totals are between 1.5 and 3 inches statewide. The additional rain will be much welcome as crops continue to progress toward or into reproductive stages. Farther, out, the outlook for the first week of August also leans wetter and warmer than normal, providing some hope for a wetter start to the final month of summer. However, the outlook for the entire month of August leans drier than normal, so we’ll want to make the most out of the rain we get over the next 2-3 weeks.

Talon Becker, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, South Central IL

Most of the Southern Illinois region received at least an inch of rain this past weekend, with higher totals in the northern parts of the region. The much needed rain has helped to bring soil moisture back closer to normal, although hot temperatures this week and with many corn and soy field entering into reproductive growth, that soil moisture is quickly being depleted once again. Hopefully, the scattered chances of rain in the forecast for next week will materialize into something substantial enough to keep soil moisture sufficient.

Soybean trial at the Ewing Demonstration Center.

Nathan JohanningCommercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Southwestern IL

Crops are holding their own for the amount of heat and dry weather that we have had. Double crop soybeans had enough rain to get going but are starting to show some stress now. Despite high hopes for a “saving rain” last weekend, most of the area locally missed any significant rainfall. I heard reports of 0.2″ to 0.5″ last weekend, but you don’t have to go much further south into Randolph County to hear reports of over 2″. We are predicted to have highs in the upper 90s to low 100s through the weekend. Hopefully, the heat and humidity will drum up some more much needed rainfall for the area.

Phillip Alberti, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Northern IL

Despite dry conditions throughout June, weekly meaningful accumulations have been a welcome sight in Northwest Illinois to help make up the moisture deficit. Continued warm temperatures coupled with regular precipitation have improved crop condition and buoyed development. As we head into the final days of July, soybeans (R1) are flowering and corn (V10-R1) is silking in many fields.

Chelsea Harbach, Commercial Agriculture Extension Educator, Northwestern IL

We received a touch of rain last Friday and it has been dry since. Hot and dry. But the water reserves in the ground must be sufficient because crops are showing no symptoms of drought stress. I looked at the forecast this morning and have to admit my surprise at the 10-day forecast- cooler and wetter weather. Generally this is a recipe for disease. So a week ago or so, my guess was that we were going to have a very boring year for disease (from a plant pathologist’s standpoint). But after looking at the forecast, we might have something to look at AND it appears that maybe all of those fungicide applications that went out the last couple weeks might have been very timely in a prophylactic sense for disease mitigation. It will be important to continue scouting for disease to have an understanding of how your different disease management measures are affecting disease development in your fields.

Weston Olson, ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy

Crops are entering a crucial stage as soybeans are in R3 and will be sprayed with fungicide here in a few days. Corn has been tasseled for a couple weeks and has shot ears, silking and beginning that process so hoping that the weather cooperates so we have good year. Moisture is adequate for now, but with this heat that we have received lately could always use a nice 1/2 – 1 inch rain anytime now. Weed pressure is localized in the field as most of the field looks great but there are pockets here and there that can be annoying. Crop prices look to be dropping, which is no good especially hearing how much next year is going to cost in inputs.

Jeff Shaner, ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy

Two particular items have caught my eye this week close to home (Iroquois County). Soybean Cyst Nematode pressure is very high on some farms. Already visible signs are appearing that show a toll is being taken by their activity.

Also compaction zones are easily definable. Roots have had to take considerable detours on their way to seek water and nutrition. This could be a longstanding problem on the farm, or an issue related to this current spring where an attempt was made to plant into soil conditions that were not optimal.

Other than those, most of the region received rainfall the past two weeks and stands look healthy with pod formation in full swing.

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