Sugar Cane Aphid

(Tesfaye) For the last couple of years a new insect pest, the sugar cane aphid, started attacking sorghum fields in the southern states. And this year it was observed massively in all sorghum fields in Kansas. So, we are scouting our plots for that purpose and then we noticed something interesting. One that you see behind me here is a pollinate 84, you can see through that is a Frontline Hybrid growing in this part of the state. And then you can see there is a lot of sugar cane aphid insects on it. And next to that is a new experimental hybrid that we put for demonstration purpose and then we don’t see any sign of insect attack on that particular hybrid. So, you know the occurrence of that insect really caused a lot of panic. But when we think about it, even without making an effort to breed that as a stand hybrid, you are able to see a part of materials that are really resistant to that insect. The largest set of sorghum hybrid testing going on this year, we have about 800 different sorghum hybrids, new ones being tested at Ashland Bottoms. Quite many of them show really, really promising potential. We do have the top hybrid checks included next to these new hybrids. When we compare them, particularly the new hybrids really have much, much better potential in terms of yield. Looking at what is at hand right now, both in terms of yield potential as well as in terms of reversing these key problems, it looks to me as a breed that is really, really a lot of opportunity to improve drought tolerance. Sugar cane aphid resistance does not seem to be really very much of a headache I think, from the way that we see among our germplasm materials. And as you can see the resistance based weed control is really around the corner that are very good looking hybrids that are already out there that in a couple of years will hopefully make it to the market.

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