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Agricultural News

OSU's Dr. Tom Royer Talks Aphids of All Kinds and How They're Impacting Oklahoma's Crops

Tue, 17 May 2016 22:32:49 CDT

OSU's Dr. Tom Royer Talks Aphids of All Kinds and How They're Impacting Oklahoma's Crops The same cool spring that is allowing the area’s wheat to fill is also providing the perfect environment for some unusual aphids. Dr. Tom Royer, professor and coordinator of the Integrated Pest Management program at OSU, says he’s heard of several bird cherry-oat aphid and English grain aphid infestations around the state.

He says that while the bird cherry-oat aphid doesn’t physically and visually injure the crop like other bugs, it does rob yield and it can definitely sneak up on farmers as it did this year.

“We didn’t have the natural enemies keeping it lower than it typically is from year to year,” he says.

Royer says insect problems were less prevalent in canola this year, with the exception of a few reports of turnip aphids showing up later in the growing season.

“The messages that I got from canola growers this year was that it was one of the slowest, quietest insect years we’ve seen in years,” he says. “Again the weather is just perfect for the canola. I think the canola crop - I know it’s smaller this year in acres - but it sure looks beautiful.”

Sugar cane aphids continue to be a big concern for grain sorghum producers. Royer says since showing up across the state in 2013, the sugar cane aphid has affected nearly every acre of grain sorghum in Oklahoma. He says that while the aphid is here to stay, some varieties could offer more protection for farmers.

“We’re going to be dealing with it from year to year,” he says. “The biggest issue is that we have to get an understanding of what varieties have resistance.

“One of the issues last year was that one of the varieties planted was also one of the most susceptible to this aphid.”

Royer says the EPA recently issued a Section 18 permit for an aphid material called Transform.

Ron Hays spoke with Dr. Royer during the Lahoma Wheat Field Day last Friday. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the full interview- including more about Royer’s experiences over the past 20 years.



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