Friday, February 27, 2015

Transform (Sulfoxaflor) Section 18 Approved for Sugarcane Aphid Control

Dale R. Scott, Coordinator for Pesticide Product Evaluation and Registration, Texas Department of Agriculture, has just announced that a Section 18 Emergency Exemption has been issued for Transform (sulfoxaflor) for control of sugarcane aphids in Texas. The Section 18 Emergency Exemption became effective yesterday, February 26, 2015 and will expire on October 31, 2015. Several other states received the same authorization today as well.

The authorization letter and Section 18 label have not been posted on the TDA website yet, but we will link to the documents when they are available. 

The highlights of the Section 18 label are these:

  • Use rate: 0.75 - 1.5 oz.
  • Maximum number of applications: 2 (and not to exceed 3.0 oz of Transform per year).
  • Minimum treatment interval: Do not make applications less than 14 days apart.
  • Preharvest Interval: Do not apply within 14 days of grain or straw harvest or within 7 days of grazing.
  • Restricted entry interval (REI): 24 hours. 

Section 18s are a lot of work to get approved and we would like to thank Dale for all of his efforts on behalf of Texas sorghum growers. 

Recognizing the Sugarcane Aphid

Sugarcane aphids are distinct from other common aphids in sorghum, in part because the cornicles, antennae and feet all have dark tips. They are often light green to yellowish-whitish-green in color and can be either winged or wingless.

Winged aphids arrive in fields with the aid of wind, and founding adults can be found anywhere on the plant. However, populations usually begin to increase on the undersides of lower leaves in the plant canopy and then rapidly move up the plant as population size increases.

Sugarcane aphids produce large amounts of honeydew, a sticky, sugary substance that coats leaves and reflects sunlight. As populations grow from a single founder event in a field, circles of honeydew-coated plants often develop. With time and the proper environment, honeydew often becomes coated with dark sooty mold and infested leaves appear black.

Alatoid nymphs will soon become winged adults. Photo credit: Patrick Porter.

Typical small sugarcane aphid colony on the underside of a leaf. 

Greenbugs are frequently found in large colonies on sorghum as well, but they are easily differentiated from sugarcane aphids because greenbugs have a dark stripe down the back and do not have dark tips on their cornicles.    

Photos modified from originals by Rick Grantham, Oklahoma State University.

Two other common aphids on sorghum are shown below.

Patrick Porter, Extension Entomologist