How to scout for sugarcane aphids

In Southwest Farm Press

Sugarcane aphids, already requiring treatment in South Texas grain sorghum fields, will follow crop planting and maturity northward as the season progresses. No one can accurately predict how severe infestations will be so entomologists and consultants emphasize scouting is the most important preventive measure a producer can take.

Here’s how to scout sorghum for sugarcane aphids to develop a timely and effective control program, according to Texas AgriLife Extension entomologists and a Scouting Sugarcane Aphid scout card.

  • Once a week, walk 25 feet into the field and examine plants along 50 feet of row.
  • If honeydew is present, look for sugarcane aphids on the underside of the leaf above the leaf with honeydew deposit.
  • Inspect the underside of leaves from the upper and lower canopies from 15 to 20 plants per location.
  • Sample each side of the field as well as sites near Johnsongrass and mutant sorghum plants.
  • Check at least four locations per field for a total of 60 to 80 plants.

If no sugarcane aphids are found, or only a few wingless/winged aphids are on the upper leaves, continue scouting once a week.

If sugarcane aphids are found in lower- or mid-canopy leaves, increase scouting to two times a week. Use the Sampling Protocol and the Quick Aphid Checker to determine if aphid densities exceed the economic threshold.

Read more at Southwest Farm Press.

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