Sorghum Insect Scouting Update

David Owens, Extension Entomologist,

Corn earworms are present in sorghum heads. One earworm per head can reduce yields by about 5%. When scouting, flip over a few leaves to look for sugarcane aphids, Melanaphis sacchari. I have only seen one this season. It is yellow, smooth bodied, and with short, black cornicles or ‘tailpipes’. Southern states use a threshold of 30+% of plants infested with 50 – 125 PER LEAF. I don’t think we will see anything near that level this year. The other common yellow aphid in sorghum is the white sugarcane aphid, Sipha flava. It has long hairs on its body and no black markings. It is only a seedling pest.