In 2013, the sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari, was discovered damaging sorghum near Beaumont, TX. The aphid was confirmed on sorghum from 30 counties in LA and TX, and one county each in OK and MS by the end of the 2013 sorghum-production season. In 2014, the aphid expanded its range to 12 states and more than 300 counties. In the current year, the aphid continues to spread in range. The sugarcane aphid is a semi-tropical species that requires a living host to overwinter. The aphid has a short life-cycle and tremendous reproductive capacity. Sorghum yield loss occurs when large sugarcane aphid populations remove plant sap and honeydew accumulations interfere with harvest. This presentation will provide information on sugarcane aphid identification using key morphological characteristics important to separate the aphid from others frequently found on sorghum. Participants will gain knowledge of sugarcane aphid biology and damage to sorghum. Topics also will include important IPM practices to manage the aphid such as economic thresholds, biological control, plant resistance, and insecticide evaluations.
CCA/CPAg: 1.0 Pest Management
CPSS/CPSC: 1.0 Professional Meeting
Robert Bowling, PhD
Assistant Professor and Extension Entomologist Texas A&M Agrilife
Research and Extension Center Corpus Christi
Dr. Robert Bowling first joined the Department and Extension in 2000 as an Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management at Dumas, Texas. While he was at Dumas, he cooperated with area consultants, producers and other agricultural professionals to help mitigate pest outbreaks, organized research and demonstration programs and identified insects. Bowling also was a field agronomist for Pioneer Hi-Bred International from 2005 until 2014. As field agronomist, he served a four-state region that included the Texas High Plains, New Mexico, southeastern Colorado and the Oklahoma Panhandle. During the time he was at Pioneer, Bowling was responsible for diagnosing field production issues in corn and sorghum and providing outreach programs for various audiences that covered advances in corn technologies and training the company’s sales force on topics such as agronomic characteristics of corn and sorghum hybrids, proper placement of corn hybrids, and diagnosing field production issues. He also provided computer support to sales reps and account managers and assisted account managers with building educational presentations and articles relating to potential agronomic issues for crop advisors. Bowling has received numerous awards, including the Pioneer Leader of Distinction and Circle of Excellence Awards, the Texas Pest Management Association’s Excellence in IPM Programming Award in 2004, and First place in Texas State Extension for Research and Result Demonstration Handbook in 2001. Bowling received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from West Texas State University and his Masters of Science and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Kansas State University.
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September 14, 2015