According to the latest progress report from USDA, farmers now have 19% of the corn crop in the ground and two percent has emerged, most of it in non-Corn Belt states.
I had an opportunity last week to visit with GROWMARK Insect and Plant Disease Technical Manager Tim Laatsch to talk about how conditions are looking this season around Illinois.
“It’s sort of a tale of two cities,” said Laatsch. “The southern third of Illinois has been extremely wet with almost no field activity occurring. Those conditions gradually improve as you go northward.”
Laatsch says corn planting in Illinois jumped from near zero to 15% the week ending April 19, and farmers more than doubled that last week. One percent of the corn is emerged in Illinois and Laatsch says some of that early emerged corn was greeted with freezing temps last week. “The bigger problem is corn that has not yet emerged, it’s subject to any number of problems when soil conditions are wet and now turned cool,” he said.
Laatsch has spent the past few weeks scouting wheat fields in Illinois where just two percent of the crop is headed, compared to 16% for the five year average. “What we’re seeing is conditions setting up favorably for disease development in the wheat crop,” he said. “If conditions remain somewhat wet and humid and temperatures start warming up, we could see some moderate to severe foliar disease pressure develop.” Meanwhile, he is seeing little insect pressure in wheat at this point.
Tim has more observations in this interview: [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/growmark/growmark-tim-laatsch.mp3″ text=”Interview with Tim Laatsch, GROWMARK”]