Category Archives: sorghum

Detecting FAW in sorghum and corn

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Fall armyworm (FAW) are still active across the Northern Grains Region, but inland Central and Southern Queensland have not experienced continuous population build up in crops since the first immigration of moths in September–October. One of the major contributors to this continuing low pressure is probably the very high natural enemy (beneficial) impact on FAW. A number of very common… Read more »

Insect pest management in sorghum – a refresher

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Sorghum is most susceptible to crop loss from insect pests during flowering and grain fill, and this article deals mostly with these species (sorghum midge, helicoverpa and Rutherglen bug). However, some years there may be pest infestations in vegetative sorghum. Vegetative sorghum During the vegetative stages you may see a few armyworm or helicoverpa larvae causing shot-holes in the leaves,… Read more »

Making decisions about Rutherglen bug in maturing sorghum crops

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Rutherglen bug (RGB) numbers are persisting in many sorghum crops as they start to reach physiological maturity. Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) research has shown no evidence of yield loss as a result of direct feeding on grain once it reaches physiological maturity (black layer). However, because most crops this year have staggered head emergence, there are a… Read more »

Thrip damage to early summer crops

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Emerging and vegetative summer crops in close proximity to unharvested winter crop are at risk of thrip damage, but the damage is largely cosmetic and rarely warrants treating. Thrips breed up in winter cereals, and particularly after rain, will move out of the winter crops in huge numbers. Most of you will be familiar with the joys of thrips biting… Read more »

Monitoring for establishment pests prior to sowing.

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Where there is a history of soil insect damage resulting in poor crop establishment a pre-sowing inspection of the affected fields is warranted to determine the likely risk to the upcoming summer crop. Grain baits are an effective way of monitoring for soil-dwelling insect pests of summer crops, and is preferable to sampling with a shovel, which is both time… Read more »

Locusts and grasshoppers active across western regions and central Queensland

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Locusts and grasshoppers are active across large areas of western Queensland and NSW and central Queensland. Reports of the Australian Plague Locust, Migratory Locusts,  Yellow winged locust and spur-throated locust have been received from areas around St George to the Central Highlands during January and early February. It has been several years since we have seen such high locust and grasshopper… Read more »

Armyworms defoliating sorghum, millet and corn on the Downs

On the Darling Downs there have been a number of reports of common armyworm causing significant defoliation in sorghum, corn and millet. Jimbour grower John Alexander treated a severely defoliated sorghum crop two weeks ago. Millet and corn crops in the same area have also been affected. Although patchy, the outbreaks have the potential to cause significant yield loss if… Read more »

Helicoverpa and midge management in sorghum

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As crops come into head and start to fill grain, sorghum midge and helicoverpa will start to infest crops. Making a decision about when control is warranted is made somewhat easier with the availability of economic threshold calculators now available on the Beatsheet Blog (https://thebeatsheet.com.au/sampling-2/); or use the ready reckoners in this article. MANAGEMENT OF SORGHUM MIDGE How to count… Read more »

Management of Rutherglen bug in seedling crops, sorghum and sunflower – updated

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Since early November, large numbers of Rutherglen bug (RGB) have been migrating into cropping regions from northern NSW through to Central Queensland. Whilst the exact origin of the bugs is unknown, it is likely that they are being carried on storm fronts from inland regions where they have bred up over winter and spring on native host plants that are… Read more »

Helicoverpa and NPV in Sorghum – Current Issues

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As the earlier plantings of sorghum progress through flowering, moderate to high Helicoverpa pressure means that many crops have caterpillar numbers over threshold.  Nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) is one of the main insecticides used to control Helicoverpa larvae in sorghum, however prevailing conditions play an important role in the speed and level of control achieved with NPV.