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Extension Entomology

The sugarcane aphids are slowing down…for now

The sugarcane aphid (SCA) movement in Kansas has slowed down for the moment with the sorghum crop maturing and drying down. South-central Kansas seemed to be the “hot zone” this year, but many counties further north and west got to see populations of these aphids as well. Some chemical rep’s have suggested spraying sorghum fields as soon as  SCA populations of any size are found, however finding a few SCA does not necessarily warrant immediate treatment. Using our new thresholds (found here), many farmers outside of the “hot zone” in Kansas did not have to spray their sorghum fields for SCA. sca map updated 9_21

Next season it will be important to monitor the progression of the SCA northward from TX and OK and observe thresholds before treating. This is especially important because populations of SCA can be swept into the same fields multiple times depending on the weather, and the chemical options for treating the SCA will be even more limited next year. A federal judge recently ruled against the sale of Sulfoxaflor which is the active ingredient in one of our best tools against SCA, Transform insecticide (Article here). Our SCA Task Force is currently working on what this means for SCA control next season, but it will likely mean that Transform will not be sold anymore. We will keep you posted on this issue.

sept 18 usa sca map

This map shows the states where sugarcane aphids were found in sorghum as of Sept. 18th this year.  So far, several new state records have been recorded including Virginia, Tennessee, New Mexico, Colorado, and Illinois.

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