Sugarcane aphids came early in Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

“Be careful what you wish for.” We have heard that phrase many times, in songs and poems, books and old adages, and probably from parents and teachers and a sibling or two. Its exact origin is unknown, but some credit an early 1800’s Goethe poem, others claim the old common saying is much older, some say younger.

Regardless its origin, however, nothing could be more true or fitting considering this year’s early spring in Deep South Texas. Farmers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) are finding the phrase particularly appropriate as they consider the good, the bad and the ugly of an early planting season this year.

“We have cotton in all stages right now. Some of the earliest cotton is already pin head squaring, and then we have some cotton just coming up,” reports Texas A&M IPM Extension agent Danielle Sekula in Weslaco. “Everyone planted pretty much a whole month earlier this year.”

Planting early, of course, means an early start on the growing season, a situation most farmers consider a benefit. While there are plenty of good things that can be said about why getting a jump on the crop year is a good thing, there is also a down side.

EARLY APHIDS

Sekula says while cotton got an early start in parts of the Valley, she reports early planted grain sorghum is already at V7 and V8 growth stage, and while that is promising from the standpoint of the crop maturing early, on the “bad side” of it is the chance of an early infestation of sugarcane aphids, which have already been discovered in grain sorghum, especially near the Rio Grande River (and the Mexican border).

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

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