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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Weed Control - Time of Day

It pays to follow the directions to get good weed control. The plots below show where herbicide was applied at sunrise, noon, and after sunset.  the result is obvious in the pictures.  The best time to apply is when the weeds are growing in that 10 AM to 2 PM window.  Click to enlarge.
Solar Noon


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Crop Report

I went to Champaign today for Weed Day.  This morning in the cool weather, all the crops looked pretty good.  Late planted corn has a long way to go to look as good as early planted.  This afternoon on the drive home, the crops were showing stress in the blue areas on the map below. It looks like the stress must be affecting yield.  Heavy rains are inthe forecast for Sunday.  I think we will take it any way we can get it.  Soybeans seem good, but their water requirement is much lower than corn.  Also, some stress in the middle of the growing season seems to add to yield.  Some late planted soybeans in the blue are not looking good.  The blue is in southwest central Illinois and adjacent areas in Missouri.  Click on the map to enlarge
Rainfall Last 14 Days

Monday, June 27, 2016

Corn Production in Brazil

By Eduardo Paim:

Here in Mato Grosso (North) producers start harvesting the second crop corn (off-season is called in Brazil). In the picture we can see the harvested corn in the town of Canarana, MT (Northeastern State MT). We are still at the beginning of the harvest and the early planted corn are with good production, the problem should happen in planting later that lacked rains at the end. Producers who are speaking harvesting between 100 and 110 bags per hectare in corn that received good rainfall. It is still early to say what will be the production reduction in Mato Grosso, but I estimate between 15% and 20% reduction. Some regions have not had good rains as in Canarana (MT Northeast, North and East North had little rain or no rain). In the south of Mato Grosso has not started the off-season corn crops, but we had good rains here and should have a normal production between 85 and 95 bags per hectare on average.

In the state of Goiás production reduction by lack of rain is estimated at 50% in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul is expected to decrease by 20% and in the state of Bahia to redu

In the state of Paraná, south of Brazil there is talk of 15% of corn production reduction and the reduction was caused by drought and frost.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Areas Short on Rain

Shown below is the rainfall map for the past 7 days.  The hole in the middle is mainly south central and southern Illinois.  The areas that got a good amount of rain are set for good pollination. Some of the southern Illinois area is just now recovering from excessive rainfall, so the situation is not as bleak as it may look,  but many of the the counties in white or light blue need a shower.  Is  it drought?  Maybe.  Can we recover?  A timely rain would help.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Getting Ready for the Weekend

The first time I saw the Starr's Primal Meats and Package Liquor, I thought, "what a great combination".   It features great agricultural products and it looks like  a great place to stop to finish your weekend preparations.  A bonus that the butcher shop is well reviewed.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Book on Flooding

By : Kenneth R. Olson, Professor Emeritus of Soil Science, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

In July the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Book Division will be releasing their newest soil and water conservation book entitled "Managing Mississippi and Ohio River Landscapes" by Kenneth R. Olson (UIUC) and Lois Wright Morton (Iowa State University). The book cover includes porthole pictures of some of the color photographs in the book (there are 60 color maps and 160 color photographs along with 120K words in 25 chapters. The confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio is the focus of the book.  Dr. Sam Indorante wrote the Foreward. The order link should be live by the 1st of August. The 250 page (8.5 by 11") book will have a hard cover. Anticipate it will sell for a "reduced price" of  $49/copy or half price thanks to generous institutional sponsors. 

Writing this book has taken the first two years of my retirement but I was able to summarized much of my last 8 years of NRES work related to the impact of flooding series work which started with the flood of 2008. Most of the book focuses on levee breaches and the impact on soils. We recommend in the book that an updated soil survey be immediately made after every levee breach and subsequent flooding event. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Flowering in the Roadside

Seeing lots of of flowers in the roadside today.  ChicoryQueen Anne's Lace, Red Clover, and Daisy Fleabane.

Chicory - Cichorium intybus

Queen Anne's Lace - Daucus carota

Red Clover - Trifolium pratense

Daisy Fleabane - Erigeron strigosus

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mid June Field Work

Wheat is being harvested, straw baling follows and then double crop soybeans.  Most corn fields were rolling in the heat and low humidity today.  The corn looked better when the sun went down.

Wheat Harvest
Straw baled

Sowing beans

Corn needs rain

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nitrogen Management update

My most frequent topic is nitrogen management.  Nitrogen management is elusive.  If you have read this blog, you probably understand that applying nitrogen based on yield goal is the least preferred method.  June Prairie Farmer did a good job of summarizing Nitrogen Management Techniques available.  Read the second page as well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Past 60 Days Rainfall

Several people have asked about rainfall amounts recently, so I thought it was time to get a map from National Weather Service.  The map shows the past 60 days.  I darkened the Illinois border.  While it seemed like a wet spring because of the number of days of missed field work, rainfall amounts have been moderate except for the southern 100 or so miles of Illinois. Rainfall amounts around the first of the year were excessive, so we still have good subsoil moisture.  We have done septic tank investigations regularly this spring and except yesterday, we have had a water table in the subsoil at some point.  While things are starting to dry out, and we are seeing corn starting to roll in some areas, we are still a long way from a severe drought.  We are getting in to the part of summer when rainfall amounts are highly variable, but as long as storms keep moving through, there is always a chance to get some rain. As in many years, corn yields will be made by a timely rain in mid-July.
Rainfall Past 60 Days

Monday, June 13, 2016

Memorial Day Decorations.

We were working near Coffeen Lake today and decided to check on a geocache I have hidden near Ticky Point Cemetery.  Seven Civil War Veterans are buried there and the graves of all seven still had decorations from Memorial Day.  I thought it was wonderful to remember all of them. The cemetery is very small and hidden in the woods.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fertilizing with Organic Biosolids

We used to call it manure.  One of my clients had saved a field for manure spreading.  He will till the field to incorporate the manure and then plant soybeans.  Manure Spreading Video The fertilizer is organic, but he uses pesticides and fungicides.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

And Now The Soybean Report

Below are stages of soybean growth including just planting today. The wide rows look good, but I am  betting the narrow rows would win the yield contest.  The most mature are almost canopied over, but there were areas in that field that were stunted by wetness.
Planting Soybeans

30 inch rows

15 inch rows

No-Till 15 inch 

No-Till Drill

Monday, June 6, 2016

Corn Growing Fast

Early corn is growing very fast.  I am standing at my full 6'2" in both pictures.  I took the photographs so you can see I am not exaggerating that there is Shoulder high corn or taller.  The second field is waist high.

Shoulder High Corn

Waist High Corn

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Soybean Planting Almost Done

I shot this video last week as soybean planting is winding up in our area.  There may be just a few wet fields to plant.  Rain has been spotty with 3 to 4 inches in isolated areas.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Corn Growing Fast

Early planted corn is growing very fast.  I have fields that are waist high.  In two weeks they will be tasseling.  Pollination will take place before any problem with dry soils.  On the other hand about 20% of corn fields are less than 4 inches tall.  A hot dry summer could affect yield on those fields.  Most corn is somewhere in between.