The sugarcane aphid has become a significant pest for Texas grain sorghum producers

The sugarcane aphid has become a significant pest for Texas grain sorghum producers.

Sugarcane aphid webinar set Jan. 12 in Corpus Christi

A Coastal Bend Sugarcane Aphid Update Webinar will be held Jan. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi, 10345 State Highway 44.

Growers can attend in person or online.  

Sugarcane aphids reduce yields, but they also create sticky waste called “honeydew” that can delay harvest by gumming up combines. At least 11 southern states, including Texas, have reported sugarcane aphid infestations on grain sorghum.

The webinar will feature presentations from AgriLife entomologists along the Coastal Bend, highlighting their efforts to better understand this pest and their current understanding of best management practices for control.

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Dr. Robert Bowling, AgriLife Extension, will provide a review of the sugarcane aphid, and Dr. Michael Brewer, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, will discuss sampling strategies and action thresholds. Stephen Biles, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agent in Port Lavaca, will discuss insecticide efficacy studies conducted on the upper Texas Gulf Coast last year.

These trials have provided a better understanding of when a treatment is necessary as well as treatment alternatives to the insecticide Transform. Additionally, several grain sorghum hybrids have been identified as having some degree of tolerance to the sugarcane aphid. We’ll be discussing how they might be incorporated into a management strategy for this pest.

The webinar will follow a program earlier in the day, also at the Corpus Christi center, by the National Sorghum Producers on the new farm bill from 7:30-10:30 a.m.

NSP staff members are scheduled to present the latest farm bill information and analysis, which grain producers are also invited to. This program will help growers navigate the new farm bill, including decisions that will affect their operations well into the future.

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