Sorghum Tips

Sugarcane Aphid Management Suggestions & Resources

This tip was provided by:

Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, Lubbock, 806-746-6101,

Texas High Plains

Sugarcane Aphid Management Suggestions & Resources

This edition of Sorghum Tips deals with SCA management in the Texas High Plains.  The information may also be relevant for the Concho Valley and Rolling Plains, though the information presented here was not developed in those regions.  There are differences in the High Plains recommendations vs. what we published in the March 3, 2016 Sorghum Tips for South & Central Texas (see for Extension’s Dr. Robert Bowling’ comments).

Instead of reproducing here the details of current SCA recommendations for Texas High Plains grain sorghum, I refer you to the direct writings of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s High Plains entomology group led by Dr. Pat Porter, Lubbock.  Consult the Texas Sugarcane Aphid News blog at  The March 2 posting is the first installment of advice with the topics:

  • Sugarcane aphid will most likely return at some level for renewed infestation of High Plains grain sorghum, so be prepared and plan for it.
  • Beneficial insects cleaned up the overwintering aphids in 2016, but what does this mean (or not mean) for 2017?  Read about early observations on the level of current beneficial insects observed in wheat.
  • What about 2017?  Certainly, early planting remains a primary consideration.  Late planting in 2015 was also a good strategy, but that didn’t hold in 2016.
  • Seed treatments are cheap insurance.  It appears that 45 days of protection can be obtained with neonicotinoid seed treatments.  This is especially helpful for seedling sorghum, but all sorghum regardless when planted, should use this strategy.
  • “Resistant” or “Tolerant” grain sorghum hybrids are still susceptible.  No grain sorghum hybrids have been shown to be able to keep SCA numbers below treatment thresholds, but they can slow the rate of SCA population increase.  All of these hybrids require scouting.
  • Additional information for SCA will be posted to the Sugarcane Aphid Network blog soon for the Texas High Plains.  Further topics will include initial treatment thresholds, insecticide rates and efficacy, and economic thresholds for a potential second spray.  Remember, High Plains SCA thresholds are lower than South Texas based on research to date.

Sugarcane Aphid Management Videos for the Texas High Plains

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension entomologist team working on grain sorghum (Porter, Bynum, Reed Kesheimer) posted nine videos ranging from 3 to 8 minutes in their February 20 update.  See them all at  Topics include early planting, “resistant” hybrids, thresholds, timing, insecticides to prevent sticky harvest issues, SCA effects on forage stalk quality, etc.