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New sugarcane aphid early warning system debuts – AgriLife Today

DALLAS – A minuscule pest few Texas farmers had ever heard of three years ago has quickly gained notoriety as the most important insect pest of grain and forage sorghum in Texas, said an expert entomologist.

The pest is the sugarcane aphid, and it’s already been found infesting sorghum in the lower Rio Grande Valley and lower Gulf Coast this year, said Dr. Allen Knutson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist at Dallas. As in past years, the sugarcane aphid is expected to move into Central Texas and eventually the Texas High Plains, potentially infesting all of Texas’ sorghum-producing regions by late summer.

Sugarcane aphid. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Pat Porter)

“Grain and forage sorghum producers can now monitor the progression of the sugarcane aphid across Texas via an online mapping program conducted by AgriLife Extension in cooperation with Kansas State University,” Knutson said.

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