The ability to reliably and simply assess a pest population is critical to delivering an economical, environmentally responsible IPM system (Bechinski, 1994). There is no research-based, user-friendly scouting system for this aphid, because it is so new to sorghum. It was estimated that 989,000 acres of sorghum were treated with an insecticide for control of SCA in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas (Bowling 2015). Yield savings based on reported acres treated with a timely insecticide application after control costs were deducted (average $13 per acre), returned $19.8 million in yield savings (989,000 acres treated, 56 bushel/acre average, $4 per bushel grain price, $13 per acre treatment cost, 15% yield savings from treatment). This estimate is conservative, because yield potential of 56 bushels per acre was based on the lowest state average (Oklahoma). A research based scouting tool that can rapidly and accurately assess sugarcane aphid infestations is needed to that other IPM tactics can be included into an integrated management system like myFields.info, which can help maximize yield protection with minimal environmental disturbance (Bechinski 1994, Cuperus and Berberet, 1994).
This work is funded by the AFRI Crop Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants Program (http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/crop-protection-and-pest-manage...).