Sugarcane Aphids Worry Kansas Sorghum Growers

December 9, 2015 08:30 PM
Sugarcane Aphids Worry Kansas Sorghum Growers

Farmers are concerned that bug that is new to Kansas may be capable of harming sorghum crops in Saline County.

A meeting was called in the city of Mentor Tuesday to discuss what are known as sugarcane aphids. Jeff Whitworth, a crop production entomologist at Kansas State University, says the aphids are an invasive species that reproduce rapidly and produce a sticky substance called "honeydew."

He says the aphids, which were first noticed in Kansas in fall 2014, are "probably" not an immediate threat in Saline County.

Whitworth said that if the sugarcane aphids become a problem early in the season, there are some sorghum varieties that have proven to be resistant to the pests.

The Salina Journal reports that the only hosts detected so far are sorghum varieties, including johnsongrass, shattercane and forage sorghums.

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