Follow by Email

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hybrid Pearl Millet as a Forage Option to Sugarcane Aphid-Susceptible Sorghum Family Forages

     Folks, today Dr. Calvin Trostle, non-cotton extension agronomist district 2, released some helpful information about pearl millet as an alternative to sugarcane aphid susceptible forages.  Should prove a useful tool if hay or other forages are in your plan and managing the sugarcane aphid by other methods seems intimidating for just a hay crop. Dr. Trostle released the following:

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agronomy, forage, and entomology has compiled the attached information about hybrid pearl millet as a potential option for annual summer forage growers in lieu of sorghums where sugarcane aphid may be an issue.  This Is not a current issue in the High Plains (but could be later this year), but for growers downstate where SCA is now present (though not thriving due to rains and cool weather), this could be an option.

For up-to-date information on sugarcane aphid, its distribution, and its effect on all sorghums, access the on-line information at  With rains delaying planting across wide swaths of Texas a lot of acres intended for sorghum/sudan, haygrazer, etc. remain unplanted.

Hybrid Pearl Millet as an Alternative to Sugarcane Aphid-Susceptible Sorghum Family Forages

With the widespread presence of sugarcane aphid (SCA) in Texas in 2014 and the apparent expansion occurring again in 2015 for this damaging aphid to Texas sorghums—grain, forage sorghum, sorghum/sudan, etc.—growers interested in annual forage and grazing may have another option that appears to be largely unaffected by SCA.  Hybrid pearl millet (HPM) is a leafy forage that may fit some grazing and haying operations.

Field observations in several Texas areas in 2014 by producers, county ag. extension agents, and millet breeders found little to no SCA in HPM.  Furthermore, April testing by USDA indicates that HPM is essentially a poor host of sugarcane aphid (e.g., was largely resistant to SCA).

The Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences has developed a summary of potential hybrid pearl millet use as an apparent alternative, at least for some acres, among Texas forage producers who seed annual crops like sorghum/sudan.  “Hybrid Pearl Millet as an Alternative to Sugarcane Aphid-Susceptible Sorghum Family Forages” is posted online at  AgriLife Today will also have a news release early next week.  Additional key millet points include:

·         Entomology testing and field observations suggest that hybrid pearl millet is a poor host for sugarcane aphid.
·         Although two insecticides are labeled for use in sorghum family forages to control SCA, both require withdrawal of livestock for 7 days.
·         Hay and forage growers, especially on smaller acreages, may be less willing or less able to spray for sugarcane aphid.  This could be particularly damaging to a forage crop as leaf area is lost thus making HPM more attractive for growers even if forage yield potential may be lower.
·         Millet, which is very small seeded, is best adapted to sandier soils, but it also tolerates high pH soils better than sorghum family forages due to a different iron uptake mechanism, and it does not develop prussic acid potential like sorghums.

       Thanks Dr. Trostle for the information,
              Blayne Reed

No comments:

Post a Comment