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Sugarcane aphids: 'It's that time of year'

Sugarcane aphid populations are rising. Producers are encouraged to regularly scout their fields.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

August 13, 2021

2 Min Read
Shelley E. Huguley

It's August, and if you grow sorghum on the Texas Plains, Sorghum Checkoff Agronomist Brent Bean, says it's time to scout fields for sugarcane aphids. 

"Sugarcane aphids (SCA) have spread rapidly over the last 10 days and can now be found as far north as Wichita, Kansas. In most instances, SCA are well below threshold and it takes some looking to find them," Bean said in a recent e-mail. 

In the southern areas, SCA may be reaching threshold levels, he warned. "So be scouting fields at least twice a week."

Thresholds differ slightly region-by-region and depending on the various sorghum stages, Bean said. An insecticide application should be made once 50 aphids are present, or a colony the size of a nickel,  on a leaf of 25% to 30% of the plants.

"Scout numerous areas in a field," he added. "Although SCA was not much of a problem in South Texas this year, I do know in a few fields an insecticide application was needed prior to harvest." 

Watch this video to learn more. Additional videos will be added, so check back!

Threshold and treatment

Forage sorghum and sugarcane aphids


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Sugarcane Aphid

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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