2014 Sorghum Variety Trials Test Results!

There were some outstanding sorghum variety trials in 2014 completed by Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension. To view 2014 test results and previous test results from prior years, click here.


Sugarcane Aphid Confirmed in Lubbock Co.  (June 29, 2015)

Special Tip Provided by:  Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Lubbock, Professor & Extension Agronomist, (806.746.6101,

If you receive the blog notifications from the Texas Sugarcane Aphid News Blog,, you may have the noticed that a sugarcane aphid colony was found on the Texas A&M AgriLife Center at Lubbock on Monday, June 29, by Extension entomologist Dr. Pat Porter. Grain sorghum breeding technician Mark Stelter has checked most of their nearby breeding nursery and did not find any—yet. It may take only a week or so before we know how much presence of SCA is found throughout South Plains counties, but our growers should now assume that all grain sorghum here needs to be scouted once per week (and once SCA is found, then scout twice per week).

Needless to say, this is perhaps surprising since the last update we had from the website was May 29, and the nearest counties then with presence of SCA on sorghums and johnsongrass were in Central Texas and near San Antonio. Once winged SCA gets airborne, and winds move them, and with the weather we had and perhaps Tropical Storm/Depression Bill, it could have moved the aphids a larger distance more quickly.

Action Items:

1) Click on the link to the right to read helpful info from Tommy Doederlein on the Sugarcane Aphid - Sugarcane Aphid NL Doederlein 01July2015.

2) Review the sorghum tips from January 29 and February 12 for a report of the six grain sorghum hybrids that were designated as ‘tolerant’ in USDA seedling testing at Stillwater, OK. The test used there is seedlings, but the long history of that test for aphids finds that resistance/tolerance on younger plants is similar on older plants. What is absent in these greenhouse environment is “life”, e.g. field conditions, and Dr. Porter has noted that Entomology’s standard is at least two years of field observations before a hybrid would be deemed tolerant or resistant to SCA or any other insect. We don’t have that for these six hybrids though indications from AgriLife colleagues of mine downstate including Crop Testing Program director Dennis Pietsch and grain sorghum breeder Dr. Bill Rooney have noted that it appears that at least two of these hybrids (which are widely planted there), Dekalb DKS 37-07 and Sorghum Partners NK5418, did not require spraying when other adjacent or nearby hybrids did, and these hybrids in trials within the breeding program or the CTP held up well. (We don’t know for sure if these hybrids have Tx2783 in their background, a resistant parent line with dominant genes, but they appeared as if they did).

· For these six hybrids: at this point we are not interested in the two medium-long maturity hybrids for the South Plains (replant/late plant last recommended dates: Central South Plains, July 5 for medium-early & July 10 for early maturity; lower South Plains, July 5 for medium, July 10 for medium-early, July 15 for early maturity).

· Dekalb 37-07 medium early and Sorghum Partners NK5418 medium have been on our informal “Picks” list for the Texas South Plains for several years as good dryland hybrids. Furthermore, both stood fairly well in last November’s freeze and wind conditions

· Asgrow Pulsar (offered by Dekalb) used to be marketed as an early maturity, but it is in fact a medium-early, has yielded well in our trials. It is a couple days quicker than 37-07.

· Sorghum Partners NK310. This true early maturity hybrid has not yielded that well in our South Plains trials (just a small plant), but is a fast hybrid. It often shoots out a lot of sucker heads in my trials, which require a harvest aid to dry down or you just wait till a freeze.
3) Bottom line: These hybrids will still have SCA as it would develop in the South Plains. They need to be scouted just like any other hybrid, and you use the same thresholds for spraying insecticide. But with SCA concerns apparently imminent, producer here in the South Plains may wish to include some of these hybrids in their late plantings. If you know of a grower that is still planting grain sorghum, you may wish to provide them immediately with a phone call this information in case they would like to consider adjusting hybrids (if they are available). You and growers can review late plant sorghums suggestions in the annual hailout/replant/late plant guide “Alternative Crop Options after Failed Cotton…” on the main page at

4) Learn to identify sugarcane aphid yourself and starting checking several fields weekly in your area. To learn how to identify SCA, see the resources at

For more information contact Dr. Pat Porter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Professor & Extension Entomologist – Lubbock,, (806) 746-4046.

Also – please review more sugarcane aphid tips by the Sorghum Checkoff released in the Texas Sorghum Insider’s newsletter on May 20, 2015 by clicking here.