Planting Date and Hybrid Affect Sugarcane Aphid Infestation, Yield, and Water Use Efficiency in Dryland Grain Sorghum Academic Article uri icon


  • Grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) is a major dryland crop in the Texas High Plains. Currently, drought and infestation by the sugarcane aphid (SCA, Melanaphis sacchari) are the two major challenges to grain sorghum production in the area. A 2-year field study was conducted to investigate the effect of planting date (PD) and hybrid selection on yield, evapotranspiration (ET), water use efficiency (WUE), and SCA infestation. Five sorghum hybrids (86P20, SP-31A15, AG1201, AG1203, and DKS37-07) were grown on two planting dates (PD1early May; PD2late June) under dryland conditions. Insecticides were not used. There were significant differences in grain yield, WUE, evapotranspiration (ET), and SCA population between two PDs and among hybrids. For PD1, SCA infestation occurred after sorghum reached physiological maturity in 2017. Although SCA infestation was observed during late grain filling in 2018, SCA populations were low and did not affect yield. For PD2, SCA was present before anthesis in both years and significantly affected grain yield. Even with heavy SCA infestation in PD2, the grain yield was higher in PD2 than in PD1 due to timely precipitation. Among hybrids, AG1203, 86P20 and DK37-07 performed better with higher yield and less SCA infestation in PD2. Grain yield was more related to seeds per plant than to kernel weight and harvest index.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Jenkins, Z., Thapa, S., Bell, J. M., Jessup, K. E., Blaser, B. C., Stewart, B. A., & Xue, Q.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Jenkins, Zane||Thapa, Sushil||Bell, Jourdan M||Jessup, Kirk E||Blaser, Brock C||Stewart, Bob A||Xue, Qingwu

publication date

  • January 2022