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.