1. Published

    The Northwest Illinois Agriculture Research and Demonstration Center outside of Monmouth, Illinois will be holding an Ag Field Day on July 27 this year. The program will run from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Presenters for the field day are Nick Seiter, Emerson Nafziger, Trent Ford, Phillip Alberti, and Greg Steckel. Topics will include corn rootworm, nitrogen management, climate trends, hemp, and corn/soybean planting dates. The program is free to attend, and water/light refreshments will be provided. We will be out in the fields, so bring a hat, sunscreen, etc.

  2. Published

    To many, science can seem like magic. Abracadabra and *whoosh* something appears seemingly out of thin air. However mystical and misunderstood science can be, it is not magic. It is science. As such, things cannot be manifested out of nothing.

    “But Chelsea, why on earth are you talking about science and magic?”

    Simply put, I want to spin you a cautionary tale that may be more familiar than you realize. The tale is that of fungicides and disease management in soybean.

  3. Published

    Did you know that more than one-third of the food humans consume depend on pollinators for reproduction, i.e., fruit set? And when talking about flowering plants, three-quarters require pollinator intervention for reproduction. 

    Granted, I know my audience here is primarily corn and soybean producers in Illinois. Corn plants are designed for pollen to fall on the silks, and soybean flowers are self-pollinating. So why worry about pollinators? 

  4. Published
    It’s never too early to think about plant diseases!

    There are few sure things in this great wide world of ours. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, gravity holds us down to the earth, and living things are susceptible to pests and pathogens. 

    When you put your beans out in the field, there are numerous plant diseases than can wreak havoc in your field. However, the incidence and severity of a disease can be highly variable, and management can be tricky. 

  5. Published

    Much of the 2020 crop has just been harvested, but it's never too early to discuss crop diseases in the forecast for 2021. 

    Did you come here thinking you might actually get some idea of what diseases will prove problematic next year? Good. Am I going to give you specific diseases for which to watch out? No. But I do want to tell you about a concept that will make disease prediction in 2021 easier: the plant disease triangle. 

  6. Published

    This article was also submitted to AgriNews.

    Cornfields across the state are at or nearing tassel, which means it is time to begin planning those fungicide applications to help manage fungal diseases. Before you spray, have you stopped to check what's in your cornfields? 

  7. Published

    The year 2020 has been out-of-the-ordinary, to say the least. Illinois Extension is utilizing web-based program delivery methods on a larger scale than ever, which leads us to one of the very few silver linings of our current circumstances: increased access to programs across the state. 

  8. Published

    The spring 2020 planting season season is moving right along, and as such, fields all over the state have great corn seedlings up and thriving. With the emergence of the new crop comes all of the concerns and worries that farmers must contend with throughout the growing season. Among those concerns should be corn nematodes. 

  9. Published

    Illinois Extension's Commercial Agriculture team has been working to put together a new webinar series targeted towards those in production agriculture in the state of Illinois. With the uncertainty around the likelihood of face-to-face programming for the summer of 2020, the team wanted to work to ensure that we have a method of relaying useful and impactful information to the agricultural community of Illinois. 

  10. Published

    “A ripple effect is a situation in which, like ripples expanding across the water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally”- Wikipedia

    The agriculture industry (farmers, agribusinesses, etc.) is experiencing a ripple effect. In this case, the object dropped into the water is a pandemic. That object is HUGE. The ripples from the pandemic are seemingly endless, eventually making their way to every industry and individual.

  11. Published

    It is no secret that things are... not normal right now in the world. It is also no secret that the agricultural clock does not stop because of a pandemic.  

    That being said, we think it is important that you know that the University of Illinois Plant Clinic remains open! Yes, you read that correctly. The Plant Clinic is OPEN! As spring flowers being to pop, trees start sprouting leaves, and seeds are sown into the ground, you may still send plant, insect, and soil samples to the Plant Clinic.  

  12. Published

    Planting season is right around the corner! With any hope, things will go much smoother this year than last year (although that's not a very high bar to pass). 

    Continue to keep an eye on the weather! This includes not only what is going on in your area, but also monitoring the snowpack and melt in the upper Midwest and into Canada. This can greatly influence the water table and planting in Illinois. 

  13. Published

    As a part of a multi-state effort throughout the Midwest, researchers from University of Illinois are looking for participants to partake in a focus group centered around conservation practices within the Flint/Henderson watershed (Mercer, Henry, Henderson, Warren, Knox, and Hancock counties). University of Illinois professor of agriculture economics, Dr. Ben Graming, has collaborated with faculty from Purdue and Iowa State University to conduct these series of focus groups to gather perspectives from farmers about conservation practices. 

  14. Published

    Agriculture is a numbers game now more than any other time in history. Precision agriculture and the integration of technology and location services has given farmers heaps and heaps of data. Don't get me wrong, data are great. But what are you doing with all of those data? Are you able to extract meaningful information from all of the data that are generated in a growing season to help with decision making in the future? 

  15. Published

    2019 is finally coming to an end, but that does not mean that your opportunities to continue learning about crop management from Extension have to! 

    There are few different Extension programs for commercial agriculture towards the beginning of the new year to consider attending. 

  16. Published

    There is no doubt that the 2019 growing season was unlike any that we have experienced to date. Seemingly unending rainfall in late spring delayed planting of most cash crops within the state, which left many growers pondering the idea utilizing prevent plant at a historic rate. Tie this into the fact that 2019 was also the first year that industrial hemp production was legalized within the state of Illinois, and things became really interesting.

  17. Published

    Needless to say, we have had an extremely atypical growing season in 2019. A prolonged planting window due to relentless rains, with many fields not planted until June, have resulted in many higher-than-average grain moisture levels at harvest. Observing elevated harvest moisture on a widespread basis throughout Illinois can have some inadvertent ramifications for grain storage. Please consider this following hypothetical chain of events: 

  18. Published

    There is no doubt that the 2019 growing season has been full of ups and downs. First there were the relentless rain events that delayed planting in the spring. Next we had an extended period without any rainfall late in the summer. And then, when it was about time to think about getting out in the fields to start harvesting, another round of consistent rain. We simply could not catch a break. 

  19. Published

    Hello! My name is Chelsea Harbach and I am the new commercial agriculture Extension educator located at the Northwestern Illinois Research and Demonstration Center outside of Monmouth, Illinois. 

  20. Published

    Foliar fungicides in corn - a historical perspective. From the early 1970's through the mid-2000's, when prices averaged close to $2 per bushel and corn was considered a lower value crop, producers worked to minimize all but the most essential inputs. Between 2010 and 2012, when corn prices reached historic highs, producers may have considered additional inputs. While many production costs remain high, corn prices have since fallen and are projected to average below $3.75 per bushel for the 2017 crop marketing year.