Sugarcane aphids were confirmed yesterday in grain sorghum in Chicot County (just west of Lake Village) and Desha County (south of Kelso). In both cases, the populations were very small, and consisted mostly of individual aphids or isolated small colonies. Neither field was close to our preliminary action threshold of 25% of plants infested. However, if you are growing sorghum in southeast Arkansas you need to be scouting regularly for this pest. As we saw in 2014, population development is very rapid, and the aphids can quickly go from barely detectable to treatment levels.
Insecticide options for sugarcane aphid include Transform WG at 0.75-1.5 oz/acre (we recommend using 1 oz in most situations), and Sivanto at 4-7 oz/acre. Remember, the residual activity we observed in 2014 was relatively short lived; “preventative” applications are simply not an option for sugarcane aphid. We will continue to provide updates throughout the season on this relatively new pest.