Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sugarcane Aphid Active in Mississippi…..Not close to Kentucky Yet

Doug Johnson, Extension Entomologist

Several locations in Mississippi (MS) have been identified as having grain sorghum infested with sugarcane aphid. Though it is important to keep up with what is happening, it is also quite important and perhaps more important, to not be hasty in applying insecticide treatments. All of my colleagues further south indicate that it is very important to avoid unneeded insecticide applications in order to preserve the natural predators and parasitoids that help keep this pest under control. So, though you may read about this situation in various publications, do not be too quick to pull the trigger. It is not yet, and with any luck, may not be a problem for us.

As a comparison, in the areas in MS where these infestations occur, grain sorghum is at or near bloom, so quite a bit ahead of KY. Additionally, I have not had any reports of sugarcane aphid in Tennessee or Missouri. The tropical system approaching from the gulf may change that, but for right now watchful waiting is the best management tool.

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