South West Farm Press Logo

Scout for sorghum, soybeans pests; app helps determine aphid treatment

Glance-N-Go app helps a producer determine if a field requires sugarcane aphid treatment.

Farm Press Staff

July 21, 2022

3 Min Read
The best way to combat aphids is to use the Glance-N-Go smart phone app that was developed by OSU scientists several years ago to help producers determine if a grain sorghum field needs to be treated with insecticide from an infestation of aphids.Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services

With the 2022 growing season underway, producers are reminded to scout their fields for pests such as sugarcane aphids, grasshoppers, head worms and aphids. 

Although many of today’s sorghum varieties are resistant to sugarcane aphids, it’s still important to keep an eye out for the pests. To assist producers, Oklahoma State University scientists have developed a tool, the Glance-N-Go app. By sampling two leaves from each of three select plants at a sample location, the app can help a producer determine if the field requires insecticide treatment.

“It’s backed by research,” said Tom RoyerOSU integrated pest management coordinator, of the app. “It’s a simple system to use, and it saves a lot of time with sampling. We only want fields to be treated if they need to be, and we want to save a scout or producer time.”

Producers enter into the app the estimated cost to treat the field for aphid infestation and the price they hope to get for their crop, according to a recent release. They then collect crop samples until the app tells whether treatment is necessary for aphid infestation.

“You’re not counting aphids; you’re determining whether a particular plant has on its two leaves 50 or more aphids. If it’s 50 or more, it’s infested,” Royer said.

The free app can be downloaded on the Apple and Google Play stores. 

Other insects

Royers says pests in soybean fields are also of concern this season.

“We’re always concerned about grain sorghum pests, but I’ve also seen some issues in soybean fields this year,” Royer said.

Many pests, such as grasshoppers, love hot weather, so other new pests have popped up recently. Head worms and aphids have been reported since 2014, said Royer, but added to the mix this year are false chinch bugs in soybean fields. He said the new pest was primarily a problem for producers who did not exercise weed control before planting.

“Those are things that need to be watched, so you need to get out into your crops and pay attention to what’s going on,” Royer said. “False chinch bugs tend to congregate in spotty crowds.”

Young soybean seedlings are at risk when large numbers of chinch bugs are attacking the plants. Producers can often spot-spray the insect swarms with an insecticide, such as bifenthrin. When they become adults, chinch bugs will likely fly away.

“I’ve even heard about roly-polies getting into soybeans, and that’s a new one on me,” Royer said. “Someone called me this year and said they had issues with those bugs coming in and taking out some of their stands.”

Once soybean plants have matured, roly-polies cannot affect the crop, but they can damage the plants as seedlings by chewing on them. Royer said since they are an uncommon problem, there is not much research-based information on how to control them, but current weather conditions will likely kill many of these bugs because they do not do well in hot, dry conditions. 

“If a problem is significant and persistent, products containing lambda-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, zeta-cypermethrin or some combination of those products should work,” Royer said. “I would suggest using as much water carrier as possible and perhaps apply in the evening to prolong the life of the insecticide.”

For the latest information on insecticide products registered for control of pests in sorghum or soybeans, contact your local OSU Extension county office and consult the 2002 OSU Extension Agents’ Handbook of Insect, Plant Disease, and Weed Control. To learn how to manage hickory shuckworm infestations in pecans, read the latest OSU Pest e-Alert.

The development of the Glance-N-Go app was a joint effort between entomologists from Oklahoma State University and USDA Agricultural Research Service with financial support was provided by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like