Are you a sugarcane farmer concerned about the impact of woolly aphids on your crops? If so, you’re not alone. Woolly aphids are a significant threat to sugarcane crops, and their infestation can lead to reduced yield and quality. Woolly aphids infestations are particularly severe in tropical and subtropical regions. Do you know? This woolly aphid can cause loss of up to 26% in sugarcane yield and reduce sucrose content of sugarcane even up to 53 % if not managed properly. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you can detect and manage woolly aphids promptly, ensuring the sustainability and profitability of your sugarcane production.
They are small insects with nymphs yellow in color. You can characterize them by their white, thick and fluffy wax covering. Early rainy season and dry season with high humidity provides a conducive environment for woolly aphid infestation.
Type of Infestation
Sugarcane woolly aphids are a type of sap feeder, which feeds on the sap of sugarcane plants.
Scientific Name: Ceratovacuna lanigera
Most Affected States
Sugarcane woolly aphid are known to be a serious pest of Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, it is also affecting Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttaranchal and Bihar.
Symptoms of Sugarcane Woolly Aphids
Here are some indicators that can help you quickly identify a woolly aphid infestation in your sugarcane fields:
- You can find both nymphs and adults sucking the cell sap on the lower surface of the sugarcane leaves.
- Due to sap sucking, the leaves exhibit yellowing and drying from the tip along the margins.
- Infested leaves become brittle and dry out completely.
- Sooty mould growth can be observed on the infested leaves, which is the result of honey dew secreted by woolly aphids.
Have you observed any of the above listed symptoms in your sugarcane fields? If yes, why wait any longer? It’s crucial to take action promptly.
- Adopt paired or wider row method of planting sugarcane.
- Do not use the infested canes as seed material for planting and avoid transporting them.
- Detrash the canes in case of severe infestation.
- Avoid ratooning crops to reduce woolly aphid infestation.
- Avoid applying excessive dozes of nitrogenous fertilizers and provide proper drainage.
- Collect and destroy the infested canes
- Tapas Yellow Sticky Traps at the rate of 6-8 traps per acre can be used for the effective control of sugarcane woolly aphids.
- Encourage natural predators like Diapha aphidivora, Ishchiodon scutellaris, Episyrphus baleatus, Chrysopa sp, Coccinella septempunctata etc. to keep the wooly aphid population in check.
- Also release Encarsia flavoscutellum, which is a potential parasitoid of sugarcane woolly aphids.
- Katyayani Activated Neem Oil Biopesticide contains activated azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 5ml per liter water with a 12-day interval between each spray can effectively control sugarcane woolly aphids.
- Amruth Alestra Liquid (Bio Insecticide) contains strains of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii which comes in contact with the cuticle of the aphids and colonizes them. The recommended dosage is 2 ml per liter of water.
- Amruth Almax Liquid is a biological insecticide containing naturally occurring entomo pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana which comes in contact with the cuticle of the target insect and kills them. The recommended dosage is 2-3 ml per liter of water.
Are you aware of commonly used insecticides for controlling sugarcane woolly aphids? Some commercial chemicals that can be used for woolly aphids are mentioned below,
|Product Name||Technical Content||Dosage|
|Shamrock CP Gold Insecticide||Chlorpyriphos 20% EC||2 ml/lit of water|
|Starthene Insecticide||Acephate 75% SP||2 gm/lit of water|
|Admire Insecticide||Imidachloprid 70% WG||0.3 gm/lit of water|
|Tafgor Insecticide||Dimethoate 30% EC||2 ml/lit of water|