Sugarcane aphids, already requiring treatment in South Texas grain sorghum fields, will follow crop planting and maturity northward as the season progresses. No one can accurately predict how severe infestations will be so entomologists and consultants emphasize scouting is the most important preventive measure a producer can take.

Here’s how to scout sorghum for sugarcane aphids to develop a timely and effective control program, according to Texas AgriLife Extension entomologists and a Scouting Sugarcane Aphid scout card.

 

Once a week, walk 25 feet into the field and examine plants along 50 feet of row. If honeydew is present, look for sugarcane aphids on the underside of the leaf above the leaf with honeydew deposit. Inspect the underside of leaves from the upper and lower canopies from 15 to 20 plants per location. Sample each side of the field as well as sites near Johnsongrass and mutant sorghum plants. Check at least four locations per field for a total of 60 to 80 plants. If no sugarcane aphids are found, or only a few wingless/winged aphids are on the upper leaves, continue scouting once a week.  

If sugarcane aphids are found in lower- or mid-canopy leaves, increase scouting to two times a week. Use the Sampling Protocol and the Quick Aphid Checker to determine if aphid densities exceed the economic threshold.

 

TREATMENT DECISIONS

After determining that some sugarcane aphids are present in sorghum fields, producers or consultants must determine if treatment is economically justified. Here’s how to make that decision:

 

Examine the underside of one completely green leaf from the lower canopy and the uppermost leaf (or the leaf below the flag leaf at boot to heading) and estimate the number of SCA per leaf, using the Quick Aphid Checker, included in the Texas AgriLife Scout Card cited above.    Examine 2 leaves from each of 5 random plants per location. Repeat at 4 locations, for a total of 40 leaves. Use the Quick Aphid Checker to calculate the mean number of aphids per leaf. If the field average sugarcane-aphid infestation is 50 to 125 aphids or more per leaf, apply an insecticide within 4 days and evaluate control after 3 to 4 days. Consider treatment at 50 aphids per leaf if limited to once-a-week scouting. If the sugarcane-aphid infestation is less than the threshold level, continue scouting twice a week.  

 

CATTLE PROGRAM TO BE HELD IN BROWNWOOD JUNE 16

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a regional beef cattle program June 16 at the Brown County Fairgrounds located at 4206 U.S. Highway 377 S. in Brownwood.

The program will start with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the program will follow at 9 a.m.

“Cattle prices don’t look too predictable as we head toward summer,” said Scott Anderson, AgriLife Extension agent in Brown County. “So to optimize profits, controlling production costs and raising cattle that are efficient will be on everyone’s mind. Those will be the key topics of the program.”

Topics and speakers will include:

 

Heifer Development-Keep or Sell, Dr. Bruce Carpenter, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Fort Stockton. Veterinary Feed Directive Outline-Consumer Perspective of Beef, Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, College Station. Cattle Insect Pest Management, Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Stephenville. Cattle Prices This Year and Next, Dr. Jason Johnson, AgriLife Extension economist, Stephenville.  

Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will available for licensed private applicators.

Anderson said the program is open to anyone interested in beef cattle production. Individual registration is $20 due upon arrival. The fee includes lunch. Preregistration is requested by June 13, for an accurate meal count.

For more information and to preregister, call the AgriLife Extension office in Brown County at 325-646-0386.   

 

BROWN COUNTY PRODUCERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM ASSISTANCE

A flood has caused severe damage in area(s) of the County.

Farms and ranches suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Brown County Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office if the damage:

 

Will be so costly to rehabilitate that Federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use Is unusual and is not the type that would recur frequently in the same area Affect the productive capacity of the farmland Will impair or endanger the land  

A producer qualifying for ECP assistance may receive cost-share levels not to exceed 75 percent of the eligible cost of restoration measures. No producer is eligible for more than $200,000 cost sharing per natural disaster occurrence. The following types of measures may be eligible:

Removing debris from farmland Grading, shaping, or releveling severely damaged farmland Restoring permanent fences Restoring conservation structures and other similar installations Producers who have suffered a loss from a natural disaster may contact the local FSA County Office and request assistance from immediately.

To be eligible for assistance, practices must not be started until all of the following are met:

An application for cost-share assistance has been filed The local FSA County Committee (COC) or its representative has conducted an onsite Inspection of the damaged area The Agency responsible for technical assistance, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), has made a needs determination, which may include cubic yards of earthmoving, etc., required for rehabilitation. For more information about ECP, please contact the Brown County FSA Office at 325-643-2573 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/sc.

 

REPORT LIVESTOCK LOSSES

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides assistance to eligible producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather, including losses due to hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat or extreme cold.

For 2016, eligible losses must occur on or after Jan. 1, 2016, and before December 31, 2016. A notice of loss must be filed with FSA within 30 days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.  Participants must provide the following supporting documentation to their local FSA office no later than 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year for which benefits are requested:

Proof of death documentation Copy of growers contracts Proof of normal mortality documentation USDA has established normal mortality rates for each type and weight range of eligible livestock, i.e. Adult Beef Cow = 1.5 percent and Non-Adult Beef Cattle (less than 400 pounds) = 3 percent. These established percentages reflect losses that are considered expected or typical under “normal” conditions. Producers who suffer livestock losses in 2016 must file both of the following:

A notice of loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss was apparent or by Jan. 30, 2017

An application for payment by Jan. 30, 2017.

Additional Information about LIP is available at your local FSA office or online at: www.fsa.usda.gov.