Texas LRGV Row Crops: Cotton Squaring; Sugarcane Aphid in the Grain Sorghum

General Situation

This week brought about some rain storms and looks like we will continue to receive some chances for rain across the Valley in the next week. Temperatures are in the high 80s to low 90s during the day and at night in the high 60s. With the added moisture from the rain and continued heat it is causing pest populations to reproduce rapidly across all crops, so please monitor your fields and control as necessary.


Cotton is maturing well. Majority of Valley cotton is either in the squaring state while the rest is just starting to receive the pin head squares. Main pest right now in cotton is the cotton aphid and it does not seem to be letting up. These weather conditions are perfect for the cotton aphid to thrive and excel in high populations.

For aphids in cotton products available for use are acetamiprid (Intruder, Strafer or Assail) or Carbine, and Sivanto as well. Keep in mind that cotton aphids are not the only pest being seen right now they are just the most abundant. We are also seeing fleahoppers present.

I haven’t seen them in high numbers yet but be mindful of their presence as well as a bit of whitefly being seen in cotton as well. Fleahoppers will feed on the pinhead squares and cause them to dry out and fall (blasted squares) so treat as necessary.

Grain Sorghum

In grain sorghum we are seeing sugarcane aphids in very high numbers in all 3 counties. Most grain sorghum is either at boot, heading or flowering stage. In grain sorghum that is at boot stage or heading I am seeing about 5 to 15 winged aphids per leaf laying colonies of aphids, about five per each, so they are colonizing fast. In grain sorghum that is in the flowering stage I am finding anywhere from 500 to 3000 sugarcane aphids per leaf in some areas.

Do realize that sugarcane aphids are all across the board and migrating inland fast to new fields each day. I predict that these next two weeks we will reach our population peak for the sugarcane aphid in grain sorghum.

So please go out and check your grain sorghum for SCA, especially if you are already in the flowering stage because more than likely you already have them there. Now the two products available to spray for the sugarcane aphids this year are Sivanto and Transform. Sivanto spray at 4-5oz/acre, do not go lower than 4 oz for good residual and Transform use that product at 1-1.5oz/ acre, do not go any lower than 1 oz for good residual.

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