Transform and Dimethoate is another tank mix option for midge and aphids, “but producers should also be prepared to follow up with a product directed at midge three or four days later, Kerns said.

Before making an application of Transform and another product to control midge, Kerns advises producers to make sure midge are present. “Try to avoid automatic sprays if you can.”

According to Mississippi Extension entomologist Angus Catchot, white sugarcane aphids have been “blowing up quickly to treatable levels” since early July and are now in at least 14 counties in Mississippi, mostly in the Delta region.

“I’ve seen fields with aphid numbers that are increasing exponentially. Generally, when we hit that 30 percent infestation with localized heavy honeydew and aphid colonization, we’re treating them.

“But I’ve not seen a field that measures up the damage I’m hearing about in Louisiana and Texas. We’re trying to keep from getting to that point. I have seen the occasional hot spot, when plants are stunted and covered in honeydew.”

Catchot has set up an on-farm trial to study the yield impact of the aphids.

Catchot advises producers to increase the frequency of scouting for aphids. Most of our grain sorghum is checked once a week. In areas where we are seeing the aphid, we probably need to scout every three to four days, particularly after a midge spray, which might take some beneficials out.”

Catchot also advises growers to not make automatic midge applications. “Be sure to treat on a threshold.”

Transform is best option for control, Catchot says. “Lorsban is also an option, but it can’t be applied by air and has a 60 day pre-harvest interval at the use rates we need to apply.”

Mississippi has around 80,000 acres of grain sorghum, according to Catchot. “Just about everywhere we have grain sorghum, we have the white sugarcane aphid.”

University of Arkansas Extension entomologist Nick Seiter said the white sugarcane aphid was found in Ashley and Chicot counties in late June and is currently at or approaching treatment levels. It was found Desha County in early July and in Phillips County on July 11.

The Phillips County infestation was small, but was the first confirmed report in the major sorghum producing area of Arkansas.

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