Sugarcane aphids (SCA) have now been found in Lubbock and Hale counties in Texas. See the Texas SCA Blog. This is much farther north and earlier than what was observed in Texas in 2015. Although this is concerning, it does not give us any indication of how serious SCA may be this season for the South Plains and Panhandle of Texas, or for that matter the Oklahoma Panhandle and Kansas. What it does mean is that growers will need to be diligent in following best management practices for controlling SCA. Foremost of these practices is the use of an insecticide seed treatment. Any of the commonly used insecticide treatments (Poncho, Cruiser, Gaucho) are effective and should give up to 40 days of SCA control.
In most areas of the country, insecticide seed treatments are commonly used. However, this is not necessarily the case for the Texas South Plains, Panhandle and Southwest Kansas. Growers in these regions should be encouraged to use a seed treatment.
For more details on SCA see the booklet ‘Defense Against the Aphid‘ on the United Sorghum Checkoff website.