6-17-15: Rain, rain, and more rain! That has been the talk of the county this month. Over the past few days, the Pittsfield Plot has received a total of 2.6 inches of rain, and there is rain in the forecast for the coming days. The dark cloudy skies have become a regular occurrence during the month of June. According to the Illinois State Water Survey, from 2005-2014, the year with the most rainfall in June was 2011 with 2008 coming in second. June of 2011 brought 11.85 inches of rain, while June of 2008 brought 9.80 inches. It is June 17, and the Pittsfield Plot has had over five inches of rain this month. It has been raining off and on all day, totaling four tenths so far. It will be interesting to see if the remainder of June will bring the rain that the forecast predicts. Will this June bring more rain than June of 2011 or 2008 did? Check for updates at the beginning of July to see the monthly rain total for the Pittsfield Plot.
6-10-15: It is beginning to feel like June! The corn is enjoying the upper 80 degree weather. At the beginning of June, the growing degree days were ranging from 11-20. The past few days, the growing degree days have been over 25. Hopefully the warm weather will continue, so the corn has the ideal temperature for growth.
6-9-15: All of the rain is making farmers question what is happening to the nitrogen levels in the soil. The corn will need the most nitrogen later in the growing season when it prepares to tassel. There is a wet spot in the Pittsfield Plot where the corn possesses a lighter green to yellow color. Could this be due to nitrogen loss because of the rainfall? Farmers State Bank has decided to have the nitrogen levels in the soil tested each month during this growing season by Soil-Right Consulting Services to see the effect of rainfall. Stay tuned to hear more about the nitrogen testing and other sampling done by Soil-Right.
6-8-15: It is finally beginning to warm up! The Pittsfield Plot had a few days to start drying up last week, but it was hit with an inch and two tenths of rain from the storm on Sunday, June 7, 2015 and another inch and two tenths Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Like many fields in the area, there are wet problem spots. In the wet part of the plot, some hybrids are showing yellowing in the leaf margins of older leaves while other hybrids are showing purple spotting on the lower leaves. According to the Corn Field Guide by Iowa State University, purpling in corn can be caused from the stress of cool temperatures and wet soils. The temperatures have not been ideal lately, and the plot has been wet for weeks. Also, the field guide mentions that the different corn hybrids express varying degrees of the purple. The discoloring is not exclusive to one variety. The majority of the plot is not showing stress and is handling the water well. That corn possesses the ideal dark green color. It should be interesting to see where the weather takes the corn in the coming weeks.
6-8-15: With all of the rain this growing season, it has been observed that the corn plants have tillers. Tillers are branches that come out of the ground near the main stalk. There is still a lot of question about how tillers interact with the main stem. According to University of Illinois research, tillers neutrally affect the corn. Tillers are abundant in the plot this growing season. This could be just one of the effects that the excess rain has on the corn crop.
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Prior to 2003, there were no local, independent test plots. Since 2003, Farmers State Bank has operated two independent plots located in Pittsfield and Jerseyville. Over thirty suppliers provide their most promising seed varieties.
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