1. 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. 

  2. 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? 

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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: 

  6. 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. 

  7. 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. 

  8. 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.

  9. Published

    When applying post emergence herbicides in several of the Northwestern Research Center's soybean fields over the last week or so, research specialist Marty Johnson noticed large clusters of Japanese beetles feeding on volunteer corn plants. When one beetle lands to feed it tends to attract a lot of friends and mates (Figures).

  10. Published

    Join personnel from the Northwestern Illinois Ag Research and Demonstration Center for their 36th annual field day on July 26.

    Buses will leave the research center (321

  11. Published

    Since the Hill and Furrow blog began in April 2012, a conscious effort has been made to keep its author (me) in the shadows so as to not distract from article content.

    However as Friday, June 23 will be my last day at University of Illinois Extension, major changes will be coming to the Hill and Furrow.

    I'd like to thank the blog's loyal subscribers and encourage you to not unsubscribe just yet, as there are a couple of more articles that have been scheduled to post throughout the 2017 growing season and my replacement is likely to start posting after he/she is hired.

  12. Published

    Last growing season (2016) a new corn disease called bacterial leaf streak (BLS) was confirmed in Illinois for the first time in DeKalb County. Symptoms of BLS include narrow yellow, tan, brown or orange lesions with wavy margins that occur between and along leaf veins (Figure).

  13. Published

    You might have always wondered whether there was some way to estimate when your corn crop is likely to reach the silking and black layer growth stages. Well you might just be in luck if you gather the following information about a particular corn hybrid (when it was planted, where it was planted, its estimated days to maturity) and use any internet browser to visit Useful 2 Useable' s free corn degree day decision support tool.

  14. Published
    A significant black cutworm flight (9 moths) took place overnight May 3rd to 4th at the Northwestern Research Center in Monmouth. Along with rain, the recent weather system (which looked like a giant clock-wise turning hurricane over the middle of the US) likely carried North black cutworms.
  15. Published

    Weather. As of early morning April 27, the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center in Monmouth had gotten 4.22 inches of rain, 3/10 more than the 30-year 'normal'. If the forecast over the next couple of days is accurate, by the end of the day on the 30th, we will likely have 3 inches more rain in April than the 30-year average.

    Temperatures on average had been a little bit above normal with high and low temperatures 1 and 3 degrees above normal, respectively.

  16. Published

    Whenever a growing season ends, a lidded rubber box that houses my scouting supplies moves out from my vehicle's trunk and gets moved into the my office to make way for the lidded box holding my winter weather survival gear. Come spring, the scouting box gets restocked and switches place with the survival gear indicating that the growing season (aka scouting season) is upon us!

  17. Published

    In cooperation with Kelly Estes of the Illinois Natural History Survey, every April personnel at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) maintain a pheromone trap to monitor black cutworm (BCW) moths. Pheromones, or the sex hormones that are produced by female BCW moths, are impregnated into small rubber lures that are placed in the center of a sticky surface in a triangle shaped trap (Figure).

  18. Published
    It is widely understood that the quality of grain coming out of storage is never going to be better than the quality of that grain going into storage. For some that stored 2016 corn, Diplodia and other ear molds ensured that grain quality going into storage was not of ideal quality. Fluctuating air temperatures this winter and spring has the potential to cause moisture or hot-spots to develop in stored grain. As stored grain is the biological equivalent of stored cash, it is essential to periodically take a look at just how well this vital resource is holding up.
  19. Published

    In the Bulletin, Dr. Emerson recently announced a nitrogen management webinar that he will present this Thursday:

    "On Thursday, March 30 beginning at 9:00 AM, I will present a webinar summarizing our recent N management research, which is funded by the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) using fertilizer checkoff funds.

    Topics will include the status of N applied last fall, a summary of results from our N form and timing studies over the past three years, and a look at how well soil N tracked through the spring can tell us if we need more N.

  20. Published

    Soil fertility, crop production practices and environmental stewardship will be the foci of a Soil Fertility Seminar on February 28, 2017 in 18 different University of Illinois Extension county offices.

    Presentations will be delivered through web conferencing from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Topics and speakers will include: