Sugarcane Aphid Has Arrived in NC Sorghum

— Written By

Sugarcane aphid was first reported on Johnston grass in the northernmost area of NC during May (click here for article). So it’s no surprise that it has been found on sorghum in both Cleveland and Washington counties this July. Infestations that I saw today in Washington county were at very low levels (see photo) and there were lots of good biological control insects in the field (lacewings and ladybird beetles). Biological control or insecticidal seed treatments will help slow the start of infestations and, in some cases, can keep populations in check to avoid insecticidal treatment. States to our south have reported lower infestation levels compared to previous years and it’s a good idea to wait to treat and use published thresholds (listed below). If thresholds are reached, both Sivanto Prime and Transform are labeled for use in grain sorghum.

Growth Stage Threshold
Pre-boot 20% infested plants with localized area of honeydew and established aphid colonies
Boot 20% infested plants with localized area of honeydew and established aphid colonies
Flowering-milk 30% infested plants with localized area of honeydew and established aphid colonies
Soft dough 30% infested plants with localized area of honeydew and established aphid colonies
Dough 30% infested plants with localized area of honeydew and established aphid colonies
Black layer Heavy honeydew and established aphid colonies in head (treat to avoid problems at harvest)

Written By

Photo of Dr. Dominic ReisigDr. Dominic ReisigAssociate Professor and Extension Specialist (252) 793-4428 dominic_reisig@ncsu.eduEntomology and Plant Pathology - NC State University
Posted on Jul 3, 2017
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close
This page can also be accessed from: go.ncsu.edu/readext?475335