We have not even planted grain sorghum yet, but our news about sugarcane aphids (SCA) are not very encouraging, except that Texas received a Section 18 Transform WG label on April 8, 2016 and the label does not expire until April 8, 2017.
We had nine overwinter sites this winter from Dalhart to San Angelo that had SCAs on Johnsongrass inside of cages. One of the cages in Roscoe, Nolan County had live SCAs on April 1st which was the was the most northerly confirmation of aphid survival to date. Then April 4th and April 29th, SCAs were found in overwinter cages at Dawson and Hale Counties, respectively. But, the most alarming find was May 3rd when SCAs were found on Johnsongrass that was not in a cage or near an overwintering site in Lubbock County. This is about eight weeks earlier than last year. Fortunately, no SCAs have yet been found from Amarillo into the northern Panhandle. We can not predict what this means for future infestations this growing season. But, we need to be actively scouting for the SCA and the use of insecticide seed treatments should be considered. Any of the insecticide seed treatments (Gaucho, Poncho, Nipsit, Cruiser) should give up to 40 days of protection. Also, controlling Johnsongrass now may help delay SCA movement to grain sorghum and forage sorghums later. If, at any time, you find SCAs, please, contact me, any IPM Extension agent, or your County Extension agent. This will help us better track the movement of the SCA on the Texas High Plains.