Sugarcane Aphids in Grain Sorghum of the Texas Coast – 4/28/2017

Sugarcane Aphids on Grain Sorghum Leaf

The sugarcane aphid is now being found in grain sorghum fields of Calhoun, Refugio and Victoria Counties.  However, I have yet to see this aphid in numbers greater than 5 per leaf.  I expect their numbers will increase over the next few weeks and we will see economic levels in May.

Several effective economic thresholds have been suggested for this pest.  I think all of them are similar and will result in field treatment at about the same time.

To manage the sugarcane aphid, choose from these thresholds:

  • Spray when a field reaches a level of 50 to 125 aphids per leaf (my ET).
  • Spray when 25% of the plants are infested with a minimum of 50 aphids per leaf.
  • Spray when 20 – 30% of plants are infested with localized areas of honeydew and established colonies are present.

The best practices for managing aphids in your grain sorghum include:

  • Scout fields weekly then biweekly after sugarcane aphids are found.
  • Resistant hybrids are available but are not immune to the sugarcane aphid. Scout them as frequently as susceptible hybrids.
  • Treat fields before aphids get out of hand.  Insecticides may be less effective in controlling very high populations. Especially when excessive honeydew is on the leaves.
  • Good coverage is essential.
  • Transform and Sivanto are effective for control of sugarcane aphids when applied timely and properly.
  • Do not expect more than 7-10 days residual control. Continue to scout the field.
  • Treat Sorghum Midge when they reach threshold, but watch aphids closely following a pyrethroid application.

Comments are closed.