Outbreak of sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari on sorghum: notes on distribution, crop injury and management

Tuesday, March 4, 2014: 10:42 AM
King's Mill (Embassy Suites Greenville Golf & Conference Center)
David L. Kerns , Macon Ridge Research Station, LSU AgCenter, Winnsboro, LA
Michael J. Brewer , Entomology, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, TX
J. Scott Armstrong , Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research Unit, ARS, USDA, Stillwater, OK
M.O. Way , Texas AgriILife Research Center at Beaumont, Texas A&M University, Beaumont, TX
Raul Villanueva , Entomology, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Weslaco, TX
Sebe Brown , Northeast Region, LSU AgCenter, Winnsboro, LA
Julien M. Beuzelin , Dean Lee Research Station, LSU AgCenter, Alexandria, LA
An outbreak of an invasive aphid was discovered damaging grain sorghum in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi in 2013. This aphid was identified as the sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari.  The 2013 outbreak caused severe damage, with producers and crop consultants estimating 25-100% yield loss.  The infestations primarily occurred late season in mature grain sorghum, but some late-planted sorghum in the pre-boot stage were killed.  Infestations detected were very heavy, often with thousands of aphids per leaf. Leaves became sticky and shiny from honeydew and coated with sooty mold fungus. In mature sorghum, aphids and associated honeydew and sooty mold prevented harvest aids from working properly and clogged combines, resulting in as much as 50% grain loss. Insecticide tests in Texas and Louisiana identified managements.