In the early fall of the 2013 growing season, Texas grain sorghum growers in South Texas and north along the Texas coast began to notice a new pest moving into their fields. The population was identified as a sugarcane aphid variety, but not the typical yellow sugarcane aphid common in southern states.
By harvest last year, the aphid had population had grown rapidly, and the increased population deposited large amounts of honeydew on grain sorghum plants, creating a harvest nightmare for many growers.
IPM specialists warned the aphid would survive the winter and return in the spring. And early reports indicate their populations are again growing at an alarming rate.
The best defense against the new pest is a coordinated scouting system. Dr. Mike Brewer, a Texas AgriLife entomologist, laid out a scouting strategy to growers in Corpus Christi during a recent meeting to address the growing problem.
For more on sugarcane aphids, visit Sugarcane aphid outbreak could be repeated