Sorghum (Texas)
Coordinated by Danielle Sekula-Ortiz (Danielle.Sekula@ag.tamu.edu),
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Background

Sorghum is the crop that has the largest acreage in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 400,000 acres were planted in 2014 with a value of $150 million. For many years, sorghum midges and head worms have been considered the most important pests in sorghum.

Sorghum bicolor
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench)
Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Objective

The main objective of this project is to provide timely and science based information to growers, consultants, extension agents on the temporal abundances and best insect pest management tactics to control the SCA. The primary target audience for this project is primarily the grain sorghum producers, county extension agents and consultants in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the Lower Coastal Bend of Texas. This information will be equally valuable as resource for students and researchers of all the regions, counties, and states affected by the SCA. Education and outreach will be conducted through field days, newsletters and generating science based information on printed and digital media.


Situation

Recently the invasive sugarcane aphid (SCA) Melanaphis sacchari has begun to create havoc in sorghum. Over the past two years, this insect has been found in 12 U.S. states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Arkansas in 2013; and Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, and South Carolina in 2014); and 9 states in Mexico. SCA has a rapid wind-powered dispersion and exponential population growth. Nowadays SCA is considered the most important pest of sorghum.



Important Pests

Sugarcane aphid, Corn leaf aphid, Yellow sugarcane aphid, Greenbug aphid, Black cutworm, Chinch bug, mites, Sorghum midge, Sorghum webworm, Fall armyworm, Corn earworm, herbicide-resistant weeds.

sugarcane aphid
Sugarcane aphid (Melanaphis sacchari Zehntner, 1897)
Nicholas Seiter, University of Arkansas, 
Division of Agriculture, Bugwood.org


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension