hands holding a telescope looking to the future

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. 

crop dusting airplane flying over corn field

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? 

mobile phone screen with an image of a corn and soybean field and a person in the field saying "hello"

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. 

corn seedlings

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. 

agriculture

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. 

female farmer standing in agricultural field talking on cell phone

“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.

a dead soybean plant

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.  

aerial view of a combine harvesting corn

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. 

red tractor pulling tillage implement behind, tilling a field

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. 

hands holding an electronic tablet in a wheat field

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?