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. Continue reading

Clemson scientists find controls for corn insects

Jim Melvin, Public Service Activities

A cornfield can be an unfriendly host for insect pests, and scientists such as Clemson’s Francis Reay-Jones are striving to keep it that way.

There are almost 275,000 acres of corn planted in South Carolina with an economic impact of approximately $130 million. Though this is dwarfed by Midwest states, such as Iowa (13.7 million acres, $8.75 billion), it’s still a lot of corn — enough, at least, to make a person think South Carolina would be a utopia for the insects that like to feast on tasty yellow kernels.

But instead of being a slice of paradise, a cornfield can be a far-from-optimal host for pests such as the corn earworm.

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South Carolina gets ready for the return of sugarcane aphid

From Southeast Farm Press

Sugarcane aphids were spotted in South Carolina for the first time in October, and Clemson University entomologists are preparing for their return this growing season.

The hungry bugs typically eat sugarcane, but they’re now eating grain sorghum across the South as well, said Francis Reay-Jones, an entomologist at Clemson’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence. In addition to injuring or even killing sorghum plants, sugarcane aphids secrete a sticky substance that can clog and damage harvesting equipment, he said.

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