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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
  • Use resistant varieties like Co-1, CSH 15R, Maldandi and Hagari.
  • Take up early sowing of sorghum( South West or North East monsoon)
  • 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
  • Plough soon after harvest, remove and destroy the stubbles.
  • Set up the TNAU low cost fish meal traps @   12/ha till the crop is 30 days old.
 
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

  • Dead hearts should be pulled out and used as fodder (or) burried in manure pits.
  • Stubbles should be ploughed up during winter and burnt to destroy the hibernating larvae.
  • Sow the lab lab or cowpea as an intercrop (Sorghum: Lab lab 4:1)
  • Set up light trap
  • Bio-control agents viz.,Trichogramma minutumBracon chinensis and Apanteles flavipes
  • Mix any one of the following insecticides with sand (total quantity of 50 kg)
    •  Phorate - 10G@ 8 kg
    •  Carbofuran 3G@ 17 kg;
    •  Carbaryl + lindane 4G @20 kg
 
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

  • Set up of light traps
  • Set up sex pheromone traps at 12/ha
  • 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)

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

  • 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%
  • Azadirachtin 1%
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
  • Set up of light traps
  • 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%
  • Azadirachtin 1%

 
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 Feb,11,2014


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