Sugarcane aphid populations building in Rio Grande Valley

In Southwest Farm Press

by Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press

Sugarcane aphid populations increased dramatically in South Texas from the last few days of April into the first days of May, and a Texas AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist is advising producers to monitor fields closely, every three to four days.

“I’ve received many reports of sorghum fields being treated by air and by ground for sugarcane aphids this week,” says IMP specialist Danielle Ortiz.

“Commercial sorghum fields along the river (Military HWY) and along the coast have some of the highest populations, more than 1,000 sugarcane aphids per leaf,” Ortiz says. Numbers are also high into the mid-Rio Grande Valley area with many of those fields requiring treatment.

“Further west, towards the McCook and Hargil areas, we are seeing many winged sugarcane aphid adults migrating into sorghum fields and populating them so fast they will probably need to be treated by the end of the week.”

Ortiz says beneficial insects are feeding on sugarcane aphids but will not be able to keep up with rapidly increasing populations. “Treat when necessary.”

With the recent Section 18 emergency exemption for Transform insecticide, sorghum producers have two effective products available to control the sugarcane aphids. Sivanto also is labeled for treating sugarcane aphids in sorghum.

See the rest of the story.

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