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Maximum yield charts
show potential crop losses

Farmers face replant decisions

[MAY 28, 2002]  Logan County planting progress has grown by a "small leap" this past week with marginal field conditions allowing some farmers to forge ahead, while others were forced to keep machinery parked. Highly variable field conditions have allowed corn to reach about 90 percent completed and soybeans to reach approximately 30 percent planted.

One of the key concerns in late planting is the amount of potential yield loss that has occurred to date. The percentage of maximum yield chart shows that we have lost about 20 percent of yield to date from corn, and the yield losses will add to that rate at about 1 percent a day from here on out.

The other thing that enters into this is replant decisions. A total of 15,000 corn plants left from a May 4 planting will about equal the yield potential of a perfect stand of about 30,000 plants planted May 29. For soybeans, there has been some potential yield reduction due to late planting, but the numbers haven’t been great thus far. August rains that fill seeds will have more impact on soybean yields than the lateness of planting so far.


Another important question is the potential loss of nitrogen from cornfields. Most estimates place losses in the ballpark of 40 to 80 pounds of nitrogen per acre from most applications to date. Applications of additional nitrogen should take into account your specific situation and revised corn yield goals. Application type and source of nitrogen need to be considered when considering applying additional material.


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Many Web-based sources are available to help you in determining management strategies related to delayed planting. One of the most comprehensive is the Purdue site, which has put many related sources in one spot. That web address is http://www.ces.purdue.edu/delayedplanting/.

Another source of good information is the University of Illinois site that has the crop management newsletter on it at http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/cespubs/pest/. This site hosts the current and back issues of the crop development and pest management newsletter, which would be very applicable to our area.

Remember the source as you look for information. Most university sites are very good sources, but their location may make some of the dates and information of questionable value.

Remember the potential for soil compaction as spot showers hit certain fields. Compaction is something we get to battle with all season.

[John Fulton]

Bomke denounces plan to hurt ag community

[MAY 28, 2002]  SPRINGFIELD — Senate Democratic Leader Emil Jones’ most recent budget plan could affect even more jobs in central Illinois, according to Sen. Larry Bomke.

Jones, R-Chicago, offered the governor a plan Wednesday to increase sales taxes on agriculture and manufacturing. Among the sales tax increases Jones proposed are those affecting manufacturer’s purchase credit, manufacturing and assembling machinery and equipment, farm chemicals, new and used farm machinery, ethanol fuels, and coal mining equipment.

"First they want to lay off state employees; now they want to hit our agriculture and manufacturing jobs as well," said Bomke, R-Springfield. "If the Democrats have their way, there won’t be any jobs left in my district."

Bomke indicated he will fight the Democratic plan and instead continue pushing for cuts in spending and better fiscal management to balance the budget.



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"We need to look at ways to cut the fat and better manage government before we ask for more money," said Bomke. "The last thing we want to do is place a huge burden where jobs hang in the balance."

Bomke has already proposed several budget alternatives to raise revenues, such as allowing state employees to opt out of the health insurance program if they have other coverage ($24 million) and increasing taxes on riverboats ($118 million), as well as rejecting raises for himself, other lawmakers, constitutional officers, judges and high-ranking state officials ($11-12 million). He is also sponsoring an early retirement plan that could save $356.5 million in payroll and salary each year.

[News release]

Cool temperatures slow
drying of saturated soils

[MAY 24, 2002]  "With 11.8 inches of rainfall — 183 percent of average — since April 1, this is the wettest April 1-May 19 period in Illinois since 1900, and the month is not over yet," says Jim Angel, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The new record beats the old record set in 1943 by a third of an inch. With 10.60 inches, 1957 was third. Although the year 1995 came in fourth with 10.59 inches, precipitation was near average for the rest of that growing season. The latest National Weather Service long-term outlooks call for an increased chance of above average precipitation this June and for the entire summer (June-August).

Weather observers throughout the state have reported more than 10 inches of precipitation since April 1, including 2 to 5 inches this past week (see map below).


Precipitation in inches, April 1-May 19
[Click on map to enlarge]


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Totals exceed 15 inches for these Illinois sites: Hardin, Morrisonville, Pana, Riverton, Beecher City, Charleston, Effingham, Lovington, Mattoon, Olney, Ramsey, Tuscola, Vandalia and Windsor.

Rainfall has been heaviest between Interstates 70 and 72 in Illinois. Beecher City, near Effingham, has accumulated 19.32 inches since April 1, including 11.35 inches on May 6-14, which exceeds the 10-day, 100-year storm for that region, says Angel.

Besides already averaging 6.60 inches of rainfall across Illinois in the first 19 days of May (2.48 inches more than the May average), temperatures 4 degrees cooler than average have further slowed the drying of saturated soils.

"While some folks are saying this is similar to what occurred in 1993, conditions this spring are different. Unusually heavy June-August rains centered over Iowa caused the 1993 flood. Heavy rains this spring are occurring much earlier and are centered over southern Illinois and Indiana," says Angel.

[Eva Kingston, editor, Illinois State Water Survey]

FFA 2002-2003 section officers named

[MAY 20, 2002]  On Wednesday, May 15, FFA members from Section 14 met at Lincoln High School for their annual banquet. At the banquet, awards were handed out and FFA members were recognized for outstanding achievements.

Kent Leesman of Hartsburg received a plaque for Section 14 Top Chapter President, and Natalie Coers of Emden received a plaque for Section 14 Top Chapter Reporter. Jessica Hanson of Williamsville was named Section 14 Star Greenhand.

The 2002-2003 Section 14 officers were also elected at the banquet. They are Bruce Frank, Athens, president; Amanda Davison, Lincoln, vice president; Natalie Coers, Hartsburg-Emden, reporter; Emily Bakken, Lincoln, secretary; KC Fritzsche, Athens, treasurer; and Jeffery Evers, A-C Central, Sentinel.

Congratulations to the new officers and good luck in the upcoming year.

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[Photo provided by FFA]
[New Section 14 FFA officers (left to right): Emily Bakken, secretary; Amanda Davidson, vice president; KC Fritzsche, treasurer; Bruce Frank, president; Natalie Coers, reporter; and sentinel, Jeffery Evers.]

[FFA news release]

Water, water everywhere

[MAY 13, 2002]  After a dry start to the season, things have definitely turned around. The official precipitation recordings from the National Weather Service at Lincoln showed 4.97 inches for April and 3.72 inches so far for the month of May. This puts the Lincoln site at 3.31 inches above normal for April and May to date. I do realize that other locations have had more rain. Some places have probably had more rain than that in a week’s time. The fact of the matter is we can’t do anything about the rain, only in how we will try to manage what we can control.

Some folks are starting to ask about how late we can plant corn. Remember it is only mid-May. Not too many years ago that was when we planted most of our corn. Granted, it will be several days before anyone can begin to think about going to the field, but there is still time to plant corn (or replant corn, as there is hardly a field that won’t have some ponds in it). The first thing one might consider is to switch to a shorter season corn after a date of about May 25. In our area, that means probably switching from something in the 112-day range to something in the 108-day range. Dropping maturities lower than the 105- to 108-day range may prove costly, as those much earlier maturing hybrids aren’t really developed for the disease pressures we may experience in our area.


As for a time after which to not plant corn, we can probably use a ballpark date of June 15. That would be based on the average first killing frost dates for our area. After June 15, switching to soybeans would be recommended if herbicides restricted to corn had not been applied. Also we would consider yield losses of about 35 percent when planting then, due to late planting. We can probably live with that if the yield potential was 200 bushels to start with and we get 130. By those kinds of dates we are probably looking at soybean yield losses of about 20 bushels per acre due to late planting.



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Logan County Field Crop Scouting Workshop series

This month the Logan County Unit began its 12th season of the Field Crop Scouting Workshop series. During the growing season, sessions meet at volunteer host sites on scheduled Wednesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. Locations, presenters and subject matter vary at each session. The sessions have a format of approximately one hour of classroom-type instruction and one hour of hands-on scouting, troubleshooting and field activities. CCA credits are received for each session. Following is the schedule for the 2002 season:




May 22

Blair Hoerbert

2506 100th Ave., San Jose

(309) 247-3547

Bob Frazee

John Fulton

June 5

John Adams

1659 2500th St., Atlanta

(217) 648-2338

Pablo Kalnay

John Fulton

June 19

Dave Opperman

1716 1100th St., Lincoln

(217) 792-5421

Terry Griffin

John Fulton

July 17

Sloan’s Fertilizer

601 State Route 10, Burton View

(217) 735-2571

John Fulton
Chemical discussion

August 21

Tentatively at Hoblit Seed Farm,


Program to be announced

Please feel free to attend any sessions that you are interested in, and you might want to bring along a lawn chair. If you need further information or site directions, you may contact John Fulton at (217) 732-8289 or e-mail fultonj@mail.aces.uiuc.edu.

[John Fulton]

Honors & Awards

Ag Announcements

New beef organization formed

[APRIL 8, 2002]  Beef producers from the Logan, Mason and Tazewell County areas have recently formed the Heartland Beef Alliance. The object of this new group will be to share ideas on beef production, highlight educational benefits of beef to the consumer, tour beef production facilities, learn from guest speakers and enjoy socializing among area producers. Any beef producer, whether owner of one or many beef animals, is encouraged to join.

For more information contact the following officers:  Jason Miller, president, (309) 247-3231; Troy Gehrke, vice-president, (309) 244-7826; Betsy Pech, secretary, (217) 732-4384; or Rick McKown, treasurer, (217) 648-2712.

The next meeting will be June 3, 7:30 p.m., at the Greenhaven Animal Clinic in San Jose.  

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