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Texas, USA: Sugarcane aphid on sorghum heads Ag Tech Conference agenda

Ag Technology Conference, Dec. 10, hosted by the Northeast Texas agribusiness industry, Cereal Crops Research Incorporated and Texas A&M-Commerce, includes a full day of production information as well as exhibits of the latest technology.

Sugarcane aphid is on the agenda for the annual Ag Technology Conference in Commerce, Texas.

A pest that until three years ago didn’t even appear on the radar for Southwest sorghum producers will be the first  topic on the agenda at the annual Ag Technology Conference Dec. 10 at the Sam Rayburn Student Center on the Texas A&M-Commerce campus.

“The sugarcane aphid poses the greatest threat to grain sorghum that I have seen in the past 30 years,” says Jim Swart, executive director of the Cereal Crops Research Incorporated, and a former integrated pest management specialist for Northeast Texas. “It appeared in North Texas three years ago, and has continued to spread across the grain sorghum production belt. It has the highest reproductive rate I have seen with any aphid species, and at present the only tool we have at our disposal to control it is a limited number of insecticides. The ultimate solution to this pest will be host plant resistance, but resistant sorghum hybrids are still several years away.”

Mike Brewer, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, will discuss pest management strategies to control sugarcane aphid in forage and grain sorghum.

Jim Johnson, Noble Foundation, will speak on managing cover crops for winter grazing in perennial warm season pastures with emphasis on early season pest control.  Barron Rector, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will discuss how to read a pesticide label.  Jake Mowrer, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, will review the impact of soil fertility/plant nutrition on pest resistance. An industry panel will provide an update on new herbicide technology.

The conference, hosted by the Northeast Texas agribusiness industry, Cereal Crops Research Incorporated and Texas A&M-Commerce, includes a full day of production information as well as exhibits of the latest technology. Participants may earn five private applicator, five commercial applicator or five non-commercial applicator continuing education units.

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