New insects and strategies and products for fighting them were outlined here Thursday at the Hockley County Crops Conference.
Dr. Pat Porter, an entomologist, told producers that the sugar cane aphid has been found in West Texas and it can damage grain sorghum and other crops.
Originally found along the Texas Coast, the insect was found last year in Crosby and Floyd counties, as well as near Amarillo and in Oklahoma and Kansas.
The insects are easy to recognize but growers must monitor them aggressively in order to limit damage.
‘This thing can go anywhere,’ Porter said. ‘They can be thousands of feet in the air.’
The insects can also damage haygrazer and Sudan grass.
He noted that the aphids have killed a seedling sorghum plant in a laboratory.
Growers need to apply insecticides to their plants when the aphids reach a threshold of 50-125 bugs per leaf.
Insecticides are not a silver bullet, he said, adding that growers have to scout their fields in order to limit the aphids.