Sugarcane Aphids May be Problem for Sorghum Growers in 2015 2/21/2015 - Perdue Agribusiness

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Missouri sorghum growers may find white sugarcane aphids gumming up harvest equipment and reducing yields this fall, says University of Missouri Extension entomologist Wayne Bailey.

The bugs are moving northward from southern states. They were found in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arkansas last year.

Discolored leaves and sticky plants are telltale signs of infestation. The tiny bugs are difficult to see. Their bites tear leaves and damage plant cells. They suck juices through their straw-like piercing mouths and excrete a sugary, sticky liquid waste called honeydew that clogs up combines.

Without chemical applications, the bugs multiply quickly. Bailey says a 40 percent economic threshold suggests spraying with pesticides.

The bugs may have changed their host species from sugarcane to grain and forage sorghums, including most sorghum-Sudan grass crosses, which are genetically similar. They also damage Johnson grass and dallisgrass. Last year Texas A&M Extension reported the bugs reduced yields by up to 50 percent in infested sorghum fields.

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LocationCoordinatesRelevanceShow on map
Missouri, United States38.25°N 92.5°W0.393Yes
Texas, United States31.25°N 99.25°W0.366No
Louisiana, United States31°N 92°W0.282No
Arkansas, United States34.75°N 92.5°W0.260No
Oklahoma, United States35.49°N 97.5°W0.247No
Mississippi, United States32.75°N 89.75°W0.228No
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Sugarcane Aphids May be Problem for Sorghum Growers in 2015 2/21/2015 - Perdue Agribusiness
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Missouri sorghum growers may find white sugarcane aphids gumming up harvest equipment and reducing yields this fall, says University of Missouri Extension entomologist Wayne Bailey.

The bugs are moving northward from southern states. They were found in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arkansas last year.

Discolored leaves and sticky plants are telltale signs of infestation. The tiny bugs are difficult to see. Their bites tear leaves and damage plant cells. They suck juices through their straw-like piercing mouths and excrete a sugary, sticky liquid waste called honeydew that clogs up combines.

Without chemical applications, the bugs multiply quickly. Bailey says a 40 percent economic threshold suggests spraying with pesticides.

The bugs may have changed their host species from sugarcane to grain and forage sorghums, including most sorghum-Sudan grass crosses, which are genetically similar. They also damage Johnson grass and dallisgrass. Last year Texas A&M Extension reported the bugs reduced yields by up to 50 percent in infested sorghum fields.

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Sugarcane aphids on the march in the USAemerging2015-02-23
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