In the last few days there have been reports of sugarcane aphids in many new counties on the Texas High Plains, and most of these recent reports are from fields at sub-economic levels. Fields in counties reported as infested ten days to two weeks ago are now exceeding the treatment threshold in many places.
As mentioned in this newsletter over the last few days, we have new confirmed infestations in Terry, Lamb and Parmer counties. Brent Bean from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program just wrote about fields he personally inspected, so we can add Castro, Deaf Smith, Randall, Oldham and Potter counties to the list. Dr. Ed Bynum in Amarillo has added Moore, Sherman and Lipscomb counties.
One purpose of posting counties known to have the aphid is to alert growers and consultants to start scouting. Last year the aphid hit hard in a relatively predictable band that we could track northwestward. This year the aphids are filtering in quietly and may be in all sorghum production areas without our knowledge. Given the widespread distribution of the aphids, albeit at low initial numbers on the periphery, for the purposes of scouting it is time to consider the entire Texas High Plains to be infested.