Grain, Sorghum (Milo): Targeted Insect Control (Sugarcane Aphid)

How to use TerrAvion imagery to detect sugarcane aphid infestations and time targeted insecticide treatments.

Sugarcane aphid has been found in 17 states, most notably in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, eastern Mississippi, and Louisiana. In 2013, growers lost up to 50 percent of grain sorghum yield in infested fields.

With the use of TerrAvion’s NDVI imagery in conjunction with in-field scouting, you can help monitor aphid infestations, time insecticide applications, and limit yield loss.



In this NDVI image, you can see a possible sugarcane aphid infestation in a Milo field. Milo fields should be scouted at least once a week to monitor sugarcane aphid infestations. If you find sugarcane aphids in your field, consult your agronomist to form a plan of action. If you and agronomist decide to make a chemical treatment, you can use your imagery to help properly time an insecticide application. To time treatments, a grower must first be able to identify areas infested with sugarcane aphid. Ground truth any irregularities you see in your imagery, and if they do indeed turn out to be an infestation, use your imagery to identify other areas that look to be infected. This enables you to quickly target problem areas and act in a timely manner to control the pest.



How To Monitor Aphid Infestations, Time Insecticide Applications and Limit Yield Loss In Sorghum With TerrAvion:

  1. Start scouting your field, in 4 or 5 different areas, once a week a few weeks after sorghum emergence.
  2. Monitor your TerrAvion NDVI imagery for suspicious low vigor areas.
  3. If you find a sugarcane aphid presence, increase the frequency of scouting to 2 field visits per week.
  4. If aphid infestation increases, consult with your agronomist about the recommended action threshold for your field.
  5. Locate the infestation in your NDVI imagery. Identify other areas that show similar low vigor.
  6. Ground truth you imagery to see if other low vigor areas are also infested.
  7. If you and your agronomist decided to make a chemical application, use your imagery to direct your treatment actions.
  8. If you decide to make a spot treatment, designate treatment zones in your maps using the polygon tool.
  9. Download the GEOJSON or SHP file of your treatment areas to integrate into any other precision farming tools you may use in making a treatment.

This is how you can use TerrAvion imagery to manage a sugarcane aphid infestation in sorghum.