White Sugarcane Aphid Update: 7/25/2014

Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist, Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist and Don Cook, Research Entomologist July 25, 2014 16:09

White Sugarcane Aphid Update: 7/25/2014

Over the past week we have had numerous opportunities to further observe spread and control of fields infested with white sugarcane aphids. We also have managed to get a couple of replicated small plot test out. Below are a couple bullet points based on recent experiences from walking numerous fields and talking to numerous folks around the state and Mid-South.

  • There appears to be no “aphid fungus” that will take this species out. We have witnessed numerous lady beetles and syrphid fly larvae feeding on them but they do not appear to be able to keep up with the reproductive capacity of this insect.
  • If you have this pest at any level, it will likely not get better. You will likely have to treat, question is when.
  • Rain does not reduce numbers but helps wash honey dew off plants temporarily.
  • 25-30% of plants with aphids appears to be working well at this time as a threshold or sooner if you make a disruptive spray and kill beneficials.
  • Transform appears to be the only option. We recommend 1 oz./Acre. Use 5 gallons by air and minimum 10 by ground.
  • We have put out test mixing pyrethroids and Transform and have seen no issues in control.
  • We were not pleased with Lorsban on white sugarcane aphid control in MS.
  • We have been very pleased with control behind airplanes and ground rigs with Transform. However, you will not control 100% because of coverage in most fields. Goal is to keep them beat to the bottom 1/3 of the canopy.
  • You may have to make a 2nd application if reinfestation occurs but most cases one has been enough so far. Just be prepared.
  • I have witnessed numerous infestations moving up the stalk into the head. We need to prevent this. There is extreme issues with harvest if we allow colonization in the heads.

I looked at fields earlier this week that had heavy populations that went out the top of the plant in the boot stage that did not head properly and will not head any further due to extreme aphid stress. The plants have no further reserves to push the heads and they are rotting in the whorl. They are essentially a complete loss.

I cannot stress this enough. Scout your fields sooner than 7 day intervals if you have aphids at any level. We have witnessed several fields that have went from a few isolated spots to “holy crap” in 7 days. There have been some questioning the seriousness of the pest given we have never seen it before in Mississippi. Rest assured it is real and it is serious. However, it can be managed with little to no yield loss but we have to be on top of it.

Pictures from the week (Click to Enlarge)

wsca neckwsca head

wsca plant 2wsca field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist, Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist and Don Cook, Research Entomologist July 25, 2014 16:09
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