Texas LRGV Cotton, Sorghum: Aphids Attracting Ladybugs

Image from Texas AgriLife Extension

At the start of this week we were rained out across the Valley. Many areas including Donna, Pharr, Edinburg, Weslaco, Mercedes, La Villa, and others received 1.5 to 2 inches on Sunday with very light drizzle continuing into the week till Wednesday for the most part. We did drop down in temperature on Sunday and Monday with a low of 48F on those days but we quickly have gotten up to 69F at night and mid 80s during the day and forecasted for more heat next week.

Cotton

Mainly seeing cotton in the first and second true leaf stages but did come across some cotton in the mid Valley area that was already squaring. Was able to get into some fields today and noticed cotton aphids increasing in the Monte Alto and La Sara areas. I am seeing quite a bit of ladybug adults making there way to feed on aphids as well as them laying eggs.

We have been approved for Section 18 label for Sulfoxaflor (Transform) in cotton for control of tarnished plantbugs. This Section 18 Emergency Exemption is effective March 1, 2019, and expires October 31, 2019.

Grain Sorghum

Was able to get into some grain sorghum fields today that dried up a bit in the Monte Alto, Edinburg, La Sara areas. Sorghum in these areas was at head initiation and flag leaf stages (V6-V8), some of the most mature sorghum I’ve seen scouting so far. This sorghum was very clean so far and I did not pick up on any sugarcane aphids.

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However, I was seeing a little bit of yellow sugarcane aphids on bottom leaves but not in numbers that warrant treatment and they actually attract ladybugs which is beneficial in case sugarcane aphids do arrive on the scene later in the season. With the moisture that we have received the past couple of weeks and with the heat increasing next week we need to be diligent in monitoring sugarcane aphids to prevent infestation.

We have been approved for Section 18 label for Sulfoxaflor (Transform) for Control of Sugarcane Aphid (Melanaphis sacchari) in Sorghum. This Section 18 Emergency Exemption is effective April 1, 2019, and expires November 30, 2019.


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