Disease, wind and water damage rob top end yield from Illinois corn fields


Disease, wind and water damage rob top end yield from Illinois corn fields

Milk line photo by Mike Toohill

An agronomist scouting fields in Illinois this week says the crop looks good overall, but wind damage in the north, water damage mid-state and diseases in the south robbed top end yield.

After inspecting fields in Coles County Mike Toohill with AgriSompo North America says the biggest issues in central Illinois are water damage and rapid late season disease pressure.

“Quite a bit of southern rust, our normal diseases like anthracnose, grey leaf spot and it was surprising to me how far south tar spot is developing.”

He says at this point in the season fungicides are fading so he expects premature death will set in for parts of those fields by this weekend.

“Most of the milk lines we looked at this week were 1/3 to ½ way down, so there is probably going to be between 10-15% yield loss in those ears that die prematurely.”

Toohill says from what he has seen the Illinois corn crop will be above average, but he does not expect it to reach the record yield predicted by USDA.

“It’s going to be a very good yielding year for Illinois, but I don’t see how it is going to be a record yield. Looking back at our record year of 2018, here in Illinois we averaged 210 bushels per acre and in that year we did not have this much water damage or diseases and deficiently not as much wind damage.”

He expects 2021 will be a top three yielding year for the state.

Interview with Mike Toohill