With some grain sorghum harvest beginning, sugarcane aphid is an afterthought for much of the grain sorghum grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Sorghum growers further north, where some sorghum has yet to be planted, have a long way to go in terms of if and when SCA may infest their grain crop.
Several state extension and industry partners collaborate to provide verified information about the presence of SCA on a county by county basis. So far in 2018 almost all SCA reports have been either on the Texas Gulf Coast or one county removed from the coast. Three weeks ago there were only two counties more distant (Uvalde and Caldwell) from the Gulf Coast that had SCA reports. Since then, at least nine more counties in a continuous band north to Ellis Co., Texas are now reporting sugarcane aphid. Also, and potentially worrisome, SCS is reported in Kiowa Co. in southwest Oklahoma (early planted field that has headed).
An SCA report is the presenceof SCA—whether one aphid or thousands—on grain sorghum, haygrazer, or perhaps on Johnsongrass. If a county is shaded green (below), it could range from a single report to several, but once a county is positive for SCA, it doesn’t matter if more sightings are reported. Many counties in the U.S. in previous years were never shaded green because no one bothered to check or to report. If counties north of you have reported SCA, then they are probably present somewhere in your area.
To follow the SCA tracker more closely check the map weekly at https://www.myfields.info/pests/sugarcane-aphid If you find SCA in your county (not yet reported) on grain sorghum or other susceptible host, you can note the observation to an AgriLife Extension IPM agent or Dr. Allen Knutson, Extension entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife, Dallas, firstname.lastname@example.org, office (972) 952-9222. Ideally, a photograph that records the date and location of the sighting is preferred.