Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Sorghum Pest

The sugarcane aphid has been around for a while.  It was first observed in Florida on sugarcane in 1977.  Then in 1999 it was discovered in Louisiana on sugarcane.  It was not until 2013 that it was found in Texas and this time it was found on sorghum. 

Since this discovery it has been found as far east as Alabama and it now looks like it has made it into western Georgia.  Roger Sinyard and Bill Starr responded to a call from a local grower who was seeing something weird in his field.  It is somewhat ironic that we visited a field day in Plains GA, earlier in the week and learned about this new and emerging pest of sorghum. 

When David Buntin (UGA Entomologist) spoke about it I remember thinking that we should have a couple of years before we see it here.  Well, I was wrong.  This aphid can be seriously damaging in more ways than one.  Early infestations can kill or stunt small sorghum.  Late infestations can result in large amounts of honeydew.  This excessive stickiness can interfere with harvesting.

It is unofficial until our entomologist examine the samples sent last week, but we are pretty sure that we are seeing the sugarcane aphid in our area.  to learn more you can visit this site

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