North Carolina Sorghum: Sugar Cane Aphids Found in Granville and Person Counties

    Sugarcane aphids on sorghum leaf. Photo: Alabama Cooperative Extension

    The invasive species of the White Sugar Cane Aphid has been found in grain sorghum fields in Granville and Person Counties. The white sugar cane aphid has been creating havoc in fields in the west and the south in the grain sorghum belt.

    White sugar aphids have migrated here and it is to be seen if the aphid can overwinter here. White sugar cane aphids overwinter in areas that do not freeze. The aphid has been found in grain sorghum, Johnson grass, and other sorghum, shatter cane plants.

    The aphid creates a tremendous amount of dew and waste and will turn the leaves black. To find the aphid you must look on the underside of the grain sorghum leaf and they are straw colored in their appearance. To combat this problem producers need to use seed treatments and this will only work for 40 days some of the sugar cane aphids can migrate late.

    Use a tall variety where there is some distance between leaves and the stalk is elongated. This helps on the honeydew problems. Plant early and harvest early to avoid a lot of sprays.

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