Friday, April 17, 2015

Sugarcane aphid in North Texas

Dr. Robert Bowling, Extension Entomologist in Corpus Christi, has just issued a report on the latest counties where sugarcane aphid has been confirmed, and the aphids are farther north in Texas than expected for this time of year.

Allen Knutson and Marty Jungman report the aphid in Hill and McLennan counties, thus confirming the aphid near Fort Worth/Dallas and Waco, respectively. Dr. Knutson is an Extension Entomologist based in Dallas and Marty Jungman is an Extension Agent IPM based in Hillsboro.

Robert Bowling has confirmed sugarcane aphids in Karnes County (between San Antonio and Victoria) and Bee County (south of Karnes Co.).

Cliff Mock, a private consultant, has confirmed sugarcane aphid in Brazoria County (south of Houston).

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sugarcane Aphid Overwintering Study, Hale County Results

Sugarcane Aphid Overwintering Site – Hale County, Texas

Today, Dr. Pat Porter, District 2 Entomologist, and I concluded the Sugarcane Aphid Overwintering Site Trial near Hale Center in Hale County (central Panhandle 30 miles north of Lubbock). I am happy to report that we found no surviving sugarcane aphids in the overwintering site today. All green Johnson grass shoots, crowns, actively growing leaves and stalks, plus most rhizomes were methodically checked above ground and below. The site had been successfully infested with sugarcane aphids from sorghum last fall with a thriving and established population of aphids confirmed to be healthy within the predator exclusion cage area before the local killing freeze date last November.

Two temperature sensors were placed near and alongside the predator exclusion cage containing the artificially infested Johnson grass utilized for the trial.  One sensor was placed in the soil surface near the cage and the other at a depth of 4.5 inches alongside neighboring Johnson grass rhizomes.  

The temperature recordings for this winter were:
4.5 inch depth: hours below 32 degrees = 8 (all on Dec. 31). Lowest temperature = 31.7 degrees. 

Soil surface: hours below 32 degrees = 1151. Lowest recorded temperature = 8.5 degrees.   There were 109 days between Nov. 5th (tent deployment) and today that had at least one hourly temperature reading at 32.0 degrees or below. The last freeze was March 27th at 5:00 am. The longest continual period at 32 degrees or below was 65 hours (Feb 26 – March 1). The next longest was 64 hours (Dec 29 – Jan 1). 

For now we can feel as reasonably certain as one site lets us be that this aphid did not overwinter on the High Plains. Good Luck.

Blayne Reed,
EA-IPM, Hale, Swisher, & Floyd
225 Broadway, Suite 6
Plainview, TX 79072

Monday, April 6, 2015

First 2015 Distribution Maps Posted

Dr. Robert Bowling, Extension Entomologist in Corpus Christi, has spent several weeks looking for sugarcane aphids on Johnsongrass and sorghum in counties in the southern part of the state. The first 2015 statewide sugarcane aphid distribution map has been posted under the "2015 Distribution Map" link in the right margin. Additionally, there are individual maps with more information provided for Wilson, Matagorda, Jackson, Victoria, Nieces, San Patricio, Goliad, Refugio, Calhoun, Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo, Gonzales and  DeWitt counties.