Seed treatments and hybrids are key to controlling sugarcane aphids

In Southeast Farm Press

Selecting tolerant hybrids and using treated seed are important steps to control sugarcane aphids in sorghum, which has become a major pest.

Speaking at Pee Dee Research and Education Center’s 2016 Field Day Sept. 13 in Florence, Francis Reay-Jones, associate professor of entomology at Clemson University, said using seed treatments and planting tolerant hybrids is critical because most of the labeled insecticides only provide “so so” control of sugar cane aphids.

“We have a full label for Sivanto which is a very good product; that’s the best product we have for control. We have a Section 18 emergency exemption label for Transform both for last year and this year. That label expires in April 2017 so we don’t know if we will have a full label for Transform so right now Sivanto is the only good product we have for next year,” Reay-Jones said.

“What’s going to be key for us is to pick the right hybrid which has some level of tolerance. We don’t have a variety that can withstand populations under heavy pressure. But what these tolerant varieties can do is help to delay that first application of insecticide,” he stressed.

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