Category Archives: Sorghum

Section 18 authorized for Transform WG for control of sugarcane aphid on sorghum in Virginia

In accordance with Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the EPA has authorized the Emergency Exemption use of Transform WG (active ingredient = sulfoxaflor) to be used on sorghum to control sugarcane aphid (Melanaphis sacchari) in specified Virginia counties. The authorization will expire November 30, 2017. Foliar applications may be made at 0.75-1.5 oz/acre, with a maximum of 2 applications per acre per year. Please refer to the product’s Section 18 registration for further information, including application directions (at the time of this writing, the 2016 version of the Section 18 is the one available on [the 2016 version expires on April 8]). Micah Raub and others with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are acknowledged for their assistance.

Scout now for marestail/horseweed

Recent mild temperatures and the mild winter are setting the stage for rapid development of marestail/horseweed (Conyza canadensis) this spring.  Marestail was particularly troublesome last year in soybeans.  Marestail can germinate in both the fall and the spring. It is more likely to overwinter in the rosette stage during mild winters.  If you wait until your typical burndown the marestail may start bolting and therefore be more difficult to control. Adding to this difficulty, many marestail populations are resistant to Roundup (and other glyphosate containing products). You should scout your fields targeted for soybeans now to identify overwintering marestail.  Marestail control can be achieved with 2,4-D  or dicamba now and still offer plenty of time to avoid plant back restrictions (up to 15 days for 2,4-D or up to 28 days for dicamba). Glyphosate resistant weeds and the difficulty in controlling more mature weeds underscore the need to scout fields earlier and use some alternative herbicides in your program.  Always consult the product label for specific instructions.

View the Program: Virginia Eastern Shore Ag Conference and Trade Show

We look forward to seeing you January 25th and 26th at the 27th Annual Eastern Shore Ag conference & Trade Show! You can find the program online at: Virginia pesticide re-certification and Certified Crop Adviser credits will be available. See the program for more information.

The event will be held at the Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development Center, 29300 Lankford Highway, Melfa, VA 23410. When you enter the driveway to the Community College, we will be meeting in the building to the left.

The Annual Oyster Roast will be held on Wednesday night, January 25th beginning with a social at 6:00 pm and oysters served at 6:30 pm. Along with oysters, there will be all-you-can-eat barbecue, sides and beverages. Tickets will be $35.00 in advance and $40.00 if purchased the day of the oyster roast.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact either Theresa Pittman ( or Ursula Deitch ( for accommodation. Thank you!

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Virginia Eastern Shore Ag Conference and Trade Show

Join us in Melfa, VA for the 27th Annual Eastern Shore Agricultural Conference and Trade Show on January 25-26, 2017. This event is free, open to the public, and will be held at the Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development Center. We will offer Virginia Pesticide Recertification credits for categories 1A, 10, 60, and 90. We will also offer Certified Crop Adviser Credits for nutrient management (2), soil and water (1), integrated pest management (4.5), crop management (6), and professional development (0.5). Click on the following link for topic areas being presented: ag-conf-press-release-2017

Registration is open for the Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School.


November 15-17, 2016
Princess Royale Hotel in Ocean City, MD

Registration is open for the 22nd annual Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School. This year’s school will feature 2 ½ days of timely presentations in the areas of crop management, nutrient management, pest management, soil and water management, and climate. This year, the school will also feature the popular Crop School on Wheels field tour (limited to 50 participants). Nutrient management (VA, MD, DE, PA), pesticide, and certified crop adviser (CCA) credits will be available. Register early for the best selection of sessions.

The session schedule is online at:

Registration information is posted at:

Contact Amy Shober ( or Jarrod Miller ( with questions about the school. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Mid-Atlantic Crop Management School is organized by Extension Specialists from Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland featuring speakers from across the nation.

Sugarcane aphid sorghum update

Brent Bean, Director of Agronomy, United Sorghum Checkoff Program, forwarded the following information on sugarcane aphid (SCA):

As many of you know, the sugarcane aphid has moved north faster than last year.  We now have confirmed reports of SCA in three southern counties of Kansas.  In addition, SCA is present as far north as Kentucky and Virginia.  In these northern sites SCA populations for the most part are low but have approached threshold levels in Virginia.  It is likely that at least low populations will be discovered in many counties within the Sorghum Belt in the coming weeks.

It is important to note that just because a few SCA are present in a field does not mean an insecticide application is or will be justified.  Those who planted hybrids with some tolerance to SCA can expect the populations to build more slowly.  In addition, beneficials in many areas are reported to be in high numbers, this will also help keep SCA populations in check.  Although SCA was present in South Texas this year, only a portion of the fields reached threshold levels.

Something we have clearly learned the last two years is that once SCA is present in an area, scouting of fields becomes critical.  Scouting should occur at least once a week once SCA has been discovered in a region, and in fields where SCA has already been detected, scouting should take place at least twice a week.  Insecticide application should begin as soon as the SCA population is at threshold levels.  Research has shown yields can be drastically reduced if insecticide application is delayed for several days once threshold levels are reached.  States and regions vary slightly in their recommended threshold levels, but in general, an insecticide application is justified when 50 aphids per leaf are present on 25 percent of the plants. Consult your state or regional extension service for specific threshold information.  We are entering a critical time in the Sorghum Belt, and SCA can potentially reach threshold levels very quickly.  Diligence in scouting is an absolute must!

There are two products that should be considered if an insecticide application is warranted.  These are Sivanto prime from Bayer, and Transform WG from Dow AgroSciences.  Both are effective, but good coverage is critical.  Most entomologists recommend 4 – 5 ounces of Sivanto Prime and 1 – 1.5 ounces of Transform WG.  The lower rates are usually recommended to control SCA at or close to threshold levels.  If SCA populations are way above threshold levels, then the higher rates may be justified.

If other insects such as midge or headworms are present with SCA, avoid using pyrethroids for their control.  Pyrethroids can lower beneficial populations significantly and cause a rapid increase in SCA populations.  In the South Plains region of Texas the ‘yellow’ sugarcane aphid is showing up in a few fields, often in the same fields with sugarcane aphid.  Care should be taken in distinguishing between these two aphids.

Although sweet sorghum is a minor U.S. crop, sugarcane aphids can greatly impact yield.  Sivanto prime has received a section 18 Crisis Exemption label in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina for use on sweet sorghum in 2016.

NOTE from Ames Herbert, VT: Note that the ‘yellow’ sugar cane aphid mentioned above is a different species than SCA. Yellow sugarcane aphids are covered with small hairs and the two cornicles (pair of small upright backward-pointing tubes found on the top side of the last segment of the bodies) are small and pale (see attached image).  The SCA is also called ‘white’ sugarcane aphid. It does not have hairs on the body and the two cornicles are dark (see attached image).  Yellow sugarcane aphid is a known pest in Virginia of forage grasses like orchardgrass. Like Texas, we are also finding yellow sugar cane aphid mixed with SCA, and in a few fields also mixed with corn leaf aphid, another known pest of corn and sorghum. Corn leaf aphid is easy to distinguish from the other sorghum aphid species as they have a dark head and legs, a dark green body color, and dark cornicles (see attached image).

This sorghum aphid problem is new for us so we are having to make some ‘educated guesses’ about what constitutes a threat, and what the best control options might be. For now, we suggest that SCA numbers should guide control decisions, that is, abide by SCA thresholds—and stick with the products that are recommended for SCA. Avoid the use of pyrethroids since they will not be effective against SCA, and could flare secondary pests by disrupting natural enemy populations.  Natural enemies including tiny aphid parasitic wasps and a variety of lady beetles can be very effective in helping reduce aphid and other pest populations, so we need to conserve them whenever possible.

white sugarcane aphid yellow sugarcane aphid grantham osu corn leaf aphid

Section 18 granted for use of Transform to control sugarcane aphid on sorghum

EPA just granted a Section 18 for use of Transform™ WG in Virginia against sugarcane aphid in sorghum. Transform (50% a.i. sulfoxaflor), manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, may be applied through April 8, 2017 on a maximum of 16,591 acres of sorghum fields (grain and forage) in the following counties: Accomack, Albemarle, Alleghany, Amelia, Appomattox, Augusta, Bedford , Botetourt, Brunswick , Campbell, Caroline, Carroll, Charlotte, Charles City, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie , Essex, Fauquier, Floyd, Fluvanna , Franklin, Frederick, Gloucester, Goochland, Greensville, Halifax, Hanover , Henrico, Isle of Wright, George , King William, King and queen , Loudon, Louisa, Luneburg, Madison , Mathews, Mecklenburg, New Kent, George , Prince William, Rockbridge , Rockingham , Russell, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, Virginia Beach, Washington, Westmoreland, and Wythe. 

The following directions, restrictions, and precautions must be observed. Foliar applications may be made by ground or air at a rate of 0.75-1.5 oz of product (0.023-0.047 lb a.i.) per acre. A maximum of 2 applications may be made per year, at least 14 days apart, resulting in a seasonal maximum application rate of 3.0 oz of product (0.09 lb a.i.) per acre per year. Do not apply product 3 days pre-bloom or until after seed set. 

To minimize spray drift and potential exposure of bees when foraging on plants adjacent to treated fields: applications are prohibited above wind speeds of 10 miles per hour (mph) and must be made with medium to course spray nozzles (i.e., with median droplet size of 341 µm or greater). A restricted entry interval (REI) of 24 hours applies to all applications. Do not apply within 14 days of grain or straw harvest or within 7 days of grazing, or forage, fodder, or hay harvest. 

Environmental Hazards Statement: “This product is highly toxic to bees exposed through contact during spraying and while spray droplets are still wet. This product may be toxic to bees exposed to treated foliage for up to 3 hours following application. Toxicity is reduced when spray droplets are dry. Risks to pollinators from contact with pesticide spray or residues can be minimized when applications are made before 7:00 am or after 7:00 pm local time or when the temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) at the site of application.” 

We will provide updates on the presence and spread of sugarcane aphid as the season progresses.


26th Annual Eastern Shore of Virginia Ag Conference & Trade Show

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Ag Conference & Trade Show is on! We are snow free, and looking forward to a great event on January 26 and 27, 2016. The event will take place at the Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development Center in Melfa, VA. The full program can be found at: We have been approved for Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) CEU credits (details at:, Virginia Nutrient Management Credit (1 credit), and Virginia Pesticide Recertification credits (information in the program). See you there! Directions can be found at:

Eastern Shore Ag Conference & Trade Show

Join Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Association of Potato and Vegetable Growers, and Industry to hear updates, research information, and innovative products for grain, oilseed, and vegetable crops important to Virginia’s Eastern Shore on January 26 and 27, 2016. This event is free and open to the public. Announcements concerning conference updates, weather delays and/or closings, etc. will be made at: Highlights of the program can be found in the attached flyer.

Ag Conf Press Release 2016