Resistant varieties, beneficial predators can help producers win sugarcane aphid battle

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

While sugarcane aphids have been difficult to suppress in past years due to their natural traits and limited insecticide options, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study shows resistant sorghum varieties and beneficial predators could provide a solution.

Dr. Ada Szczepaniec, AgriLife Research entomologist at Amarillo, recently authored  “Interactive effects of crop variety, insecticide seed treatment, and planting date on population dynamics of sugarcane aphid and their predators in late-colonized sorghum” in the Crop Protection journal. The full article can be found at https://bit.ly/2IknvD4. Continue reading

Fungi may help control sugarcane aphids

In Southwest Farm Press

Over the last several years entomologists in Texas and across other southern states have been fighting a war against the sugarcane aphid, a menacing and persistent pest that threatens grain sorghum production. Though some success has been reported from development of specific types of pesticides, entomologists and integrated pest management specialists have been searching for more cost effective methods of control.

Thanks to a visiting Master’s student from Mexico, researchers in south Texas are now focusing on a new control method that may prove the most beneficial in the on-going war against the aphids. Continue reading

Invasive sugarcane aphid found in Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

by Andrew Sawyer, University of Georgia Extension

In summer 2014, this new invasive pest of grain sorghum appeared in Georgia. We knew the sugarcane aphid would be back this season, probably earlier, and it has. The first documented 2015 appearance of sugarcane aphid on sorghum was identified this past week in Brooks County and now Thomas County.

Yesterday, I checked waist-high sorghum and found aphids and cast skins on a few plants. You can see the white cast skins on the leaf. The aphids are black, which is likely from a parasitic wasp. UGA Extension Entomologist Dr. David Buntin says Aphelinus sp. wasp is reported in the Delta and Texas region but was not seen here last year. We mailed the leaves to him to observe for this wasp. Wasps have hatched from some aphids that appear more brown. You can also see an exit hole.

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Texas Extension efforts pay off against sugarcane aphid

Texas sorghum growers avoided an estimated $160 million in losses from the sugarcane aphid this year, thanks to the education and outreach efforts of a team of specialists from Texas A&M, LSU Ag Center and Oklahoma State University.

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Sugarcane Aphids Invade Arkansas Sorghum; Treatment Options Limited

Source: University of Arkansas Press Release. www.uaex.edu and Plant Management Network

 Grain sorghum growers in east Arkansas are discovering a new visitor: the sugarcane aphid has been showing up since June on the plant’s leaves in Ashley, Chicot, Desha and Phillips counties and it’s considered likely to spread to nearby areas. Its damage symptoms include sticky honeydew and yellow to reddish brown leaf discoloration.

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Mid-South grain sorghum faces messy new pest

From Delta Farm Press

White sugarcane aphids are on the move in Mid-South grain sorghum and are making a sticky mess in some fields, according to Extension entomologists.

The aphid (Melanaphis sacchari) has been found this season in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arkansas.

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