By Nick Seiter, Extension Entomologist
Sugarcane aphid has been confirmed in grain sorghum in the following Arkansas counties so far in 2015: Chicot, Desha, Ashley, Arkansas, Lincoln, Phillips, Lonoke, White, Logan, Crittenden, Jefferson, Drew, Pulaski, Monroe, Lee, St. Francis, Cross, Jackson, Woodruff, Mississippi, Poinsett, Craighead, Yell, Clay, and Greene. We are adding fewer counties now, as sugarcane aphid is now present in (or close to) most of the areas where sorghum is produced in the state. In areas where sugarcane aphid has been found, sorghum needs to be scouted regularly, as this insect can reproduce very rapidly and can be very damaging to the sorghum crop throughout the growing season.
Keep in mind that most fields that have the aphid, especially in the northern part of the affected range, are not at treatment level. Preventative applications are not an option for sugarcane aphid, as the residual activity we have seen so far from insecticide applications is very short (8 days or less). If you spray and there are few or no aphids present, you are wasting an application, and the materials that are effective against sugarcane aphid are not cheap.
If you find sugarcane aphid and it has not previously been reported in your county in 2015, please contact Nick Seiter (firstname.lastname@example.org), Gus Lorenz (email@example.com), or Glenn Studebaker (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can keep the map up to date (if possible, send a picture along with the report so that we can confirm the ID).