Sugar cane aphids have made their way into Ford County according to Ford County Extension agent Andrea Burns.

The sugar cane aphids have been found in fields north of Dodge City and in Ford.

For sorghum producers this is not great news as the sugar cane aphids are a bug that eats sap from mostly saccharum and sorghum plants.

"Sugar cane aphids are light colored aphids that can easily be confused with other aphids and light colored greenbugs," Burns said in a press release. "The nymphs can be difficult to differentiate without using magnification.

"Timing effective treatment to control sugarcane aphids in sorghum depends upon the size of the SCA populations and the growth stage of the plants.

"Currently most of the populations found are not to treatable thresholds and some predatory insects have been found in the fields, but if the weather warms up, they might become more of a problem."

Burns added that sorghum producers need to be scouting their fields regularly for sugar cane aphids.

A few tips sorghum producers can follow are:

Walk 25 feet into your field to examine plants along 50 feet of row once a week. Look for SCA on the underside of a leaf above the honeydew if honeydew is present.

From the upper and lower canopy, inspect the underside of leaves from 15–20 plants per location and sample each side of the field along with sites near Johnsongrass and tall mutant plants.

Per field, check four locations and a total of 60-80 plants.

If only a few wingless/winged aphids are on upper leaves, or if no SCA are present, repeat this sampling method once a week thereafter.

It is recommended that scouting take place twice a week if SCA are found on lower or mid-canopy leaves.

Be sure to include percentage plants with honeydew while using the same sampling method.

Plants with large amounts of SCA honeydew (shiny, sticky substance on leaf surface), estimate the percentage of infested to help time foliar insecticides for SCA control on sorghum.

For more information on sugarcane aphids, visit myfields.info/pests/sugarcane-aphid.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com