LSU AgCenter offers guide on sugarcane aphid-resistant sorghum hybrids

Olivia McClure, Brown, Sebe  |  2/5/2016 3:22:24 AM

(02/04/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter has released a guide listing grain sorghum hybrids that offer resistance to the sugarcane aphid, a pest that has caused significant damage to Louisiana’s sorghum crop in recent years.

The 14 hybrids listed in the guide have been tested in AgCenter trials around Louisiana and showed some resistance to the aphids, said AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown. It also shows a yield comparison between hybrids that were sprayed for aphids and those that were not sprayed.

The guide is available at http://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/EF5A0F6C-B46D-4C16-9E8F-C355F5B7DE90/105488/Pub3523SorghumHybrids_FINAL.pdf.

Although the resistant hybrids offer some protection from sugarcane aphids, it is still possible that large populations can develop, Brown said. Farmers must still pay close attention to their fields and make timely applications of an insecticide such as Sivanto if they detect sugarcane aphids.

Aphids arrived in Louisiana in 1999 as a sugarcane pest, but they became a major problem for grain sorghum in 2013. They produce a sticky honeydew that collects on sorghum and clogs combine harvesters.

Because the aphids feed on the sorghum’s sweet plant sap, their presence can also harm grain development and severely reduce yields.

Grain sorghum is grown on about 95,000 acres in Louisiana and contributes about $38 million annually to the state’s economy.

Olivia McClure

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