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Crop Protection :: Pest of Sorghum

Crop: Sorghum

Scientific name: Sorghum Bicolor

Order: Cyperales

Family: Poaceae

Local names: Mtama (Swahili)

 

 

Important pests of sorghum

I. Borer

II. Earhead feeders

III. Sap feeders

I. Borer
1. Shootfly:  Atherigona varia soccata

Symptom of damage

  • The maggot bores inside the stem and cuts the growing point.
  • Central shoots dried and produce “dead heart” symptom.
  • The infested plant produces side tillers.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - white, cylindrical, distal somewhat flattened
  • Adult - Whitish grey fly
Dead heart

Management

ETL: 1 egg/plant in 10% of plants in the first two weeks of sowing or 10 % dead
hearts

Take up early sowing of sorghum immediately after the receipt of
South West or North East monsoon to minimise the shoot fly
incidence.

  • Use seeds pelleted with insecticides
  • Seed treatment with imidacloprid 70 WS @ 10 g/kg of seeds
  • In case of direct seeding, use increased seed rate upto 12.5
    kg/per hectare and remove the shoot fly damaged seedlings at
    the time of thinning or raise nursery and transplant only healthy
    seedlings.
  • Plough soon after harvest, remove and destroy the stubbles.
  • Set up the TNAU low cost fish meal trap @ 12/ha till the crop is
    30 days old.

Spray one of the following for an area of 120 m2 nursery :

  • Methyl demeton 25 EC 12 ml/ha
  • Dimethoate 30 EC 12 ml/ha

In main field for direct sown crop spray any one of the following

  • Methyl demeton 25 EC 500 ml/ha
  • Dimethoate 30 EC 500 ml/ha
  • Neem Seed Kernel extract 5%
  • Soil application of phorate 10 G 18 kg/ha or carbofuran @ 33.3
    kg /ha at the time of sowing
 
2. Stem borer, Chilo partellus

Symptoms of damage

  • Withering and drying of central shoot -“dead heart”
  • Red mining in the midrib
  • Bore holes visible on the stem near the nodes.
  • Tender folded leaves have parallel “shot hole
  • Affected parts of stem may show internally tunneling of caterpillars
 

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - Scale-like flat oval eggs in batches on the under surface of leaves near the midribs.
  • Larva - Yellowish brown with a brown head and prothoracic shield.
  • Adult - Moth is medium size, straw coloured.

 

Management

ETL: 10% damage

  • Sowing the lab lab / cowpea as an intercrop to minimise
    stemborer damage (Sorghum: Lab lab /cowpea 4:1).
  • Set up of light traps till mid night to monitor, attract and kill adults
    of stem borer, grain midge and earhead caterpillars
  • Mix any one of the following insecticides with sand to make
    up a total quantity of 50 kg/ha and apply in the leaf whorls :
  • Phorate 10 G 8 kg/ha
  • Carbofuran 3 G 17 kg/ha
  • Spray any one of the following insecticides :
    Carbaryl 50 WP 1.00 kg/ha (500 l spray fluid/ ha).
 
3. Pink stem borer: Sesamia inferens
Symptoms of damage
  • Central shoots dried and produce the dead hearts.
Identification of the pest
  • Egg - Bead like laid in rows within the leaf sheath
  • Larva - Pinkish brown with dark head
  • Adult - Straw coloured moth with white wing
II. Earhead feeders
 
4. Ear Head caterpillar: Helicoverpa armigera

Symptoms of damage

  • Earheads are partially eaten with chalky appearance.
  • Feacal pellets are visible within the ear heads.
Identification of the pest
  • Eggs - Spherical in shape and creamy white in colour, laid singly
  • Larva - Shows colour variation from greenish to brown.
  • It has dark brown grey lines on the body with lateral white lines
  • Pupa - Brown in colour, occurs in soil, leaf, pod and crop debri
Adult
  • Light pale brownish yellow stout moth.
  • Forewings are olive green to pale brown with a dark brown circular spot in the centre.
  • Hind wings are pale smoky white with a broad blackish outer margin.
Larva
Pupa
Adult

Management

ETL: 2 / earhead

  • Set up of light traps till mid night to monitor, attract and kill adults
    of stem borer, grain midge and earhead caterpillars.

    Set up sex pheromone traps at 12/ha to attract male moths of
    Helicoverpa armigera from flowering to grain hardening. Two
    applications of NPV at 10 days interval at 1.5 X1012 POB along
    with crude sugar 2.5 kg + cotton seed kernel powder 250 g on
    the earheads is effective in reducing the larval population of
    Helicoverpa.

Apply any one of the following on 3rd and 18th day after panicle emergence

Carbaryl 10 D 25 kg/ha
Malathion 5 D 25 kg/ha
Phosalone 4 D 25 kg/ha
 
5. Shoot bug: Peregrinus maidis

Symptom of damage

  • Plants become unhealthy stunted and yellow.
  • The leaves wither from top downwards.
  • Panicle formation is inhibited and the plants die if attack is severe. 
  • Honeydew secreted by the bug causes growth of sooty mould on leaves.
  • The midribs of the leaves turn red due to egg-laying and may dry up subsequently.

 

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - Laid inside the leaf tissue and covered with a white waxy substance.
  • Adult - Yellowish brown to dark brown with translucent wings.
 

Management

  • Spray with 0.04% diazine (or) dimethoate 0.02%
  • Application of phosphomidon @ 250 ml in 450-500 litres water/ha.
 
6. Earhead bug: Calocoris angustatus

 

Symptom of damage

  • Nymphs and adult suck the juice from within the grains when they are in the milky stage.  
  • Grains shrink and turn black in colour and ill filled (or) chaffy.
  • Presence of large number of nymphs and adults are seen on the ear head.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - Blue cigar shaped , laid under the glumes or into the middle of the florets
  • Nymphs - Slender, green in colour
  • Adults - Male is green in colour. Female is green with a brown margin

Management

ETL: 10 / earhead

Apply any one of the following on 3rd and 18th day after
panicle emergence :

  • Carbaryl 10 D 25 kg/ha
  • Malathion 5 D 25 kg/ha
  • Neem seed kernel extract 5%
  • Spray twice with Malathion 50 EC 500 ml/ha. in 500 lit of water at
    10% heading and 9days after.
III. Sap feeders
 
7. Sorghum midge: Contarinia sorghicola,   

Symptoms of damage     

  • Pollen shedding due to egg laying
  • White pupal cases protruding out from the grains
  • Chaffy grains with holes

Identification of the pest

  • Adult - Fly is small, fragile with a bright orange abdomen and a pair of transparent wings.
Management

Sett up of light traps till mid night to monitor, attract and kill adults
of stem borer, grain midge and earhead caterpillars.

Apply any one of the following on 3rd and 18th day after
panicle emergence :

Carbaryl 10 D 25 kg/ha

Malathion 5 D 25 kg/ha

Phosalone 4 D 25 kg/ha

Neem seed kernel extract 5% (or) Spray malathion 50 EC @ 1600 ml/ha or phosalone 1150 ml/ha

The sowing of sorghum should be completed in as short a time
as possible to avoid continuous flowering which favours grain
midge and earhead bug multiplication in an area.

 
8.Plant lice: Rhopalosiphum maidis

Symptoms of damage

  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Colonies of aphids found in central leaf whorl. 

 

 

Identification of the pest

  • Yellow with dark green legs

Management

  • Spraying the base of attacked plants with a contact (or) systemic insecticide controls the aphid.
Updated on April 22, 2014


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