Integrated pest management practices
Adopt synchronous and timely/early sowings of cultivars with similar maturity over large areas to reduce the damage by shoot fly, midge, and head bugs.
Apply balanced fertilizers having adequate N and P to promote better plant growth, that results in reduced damage by shoot fly and stem borers.
Use high seed rates, and delay thinning (to maintain optimum plant stand) to minimize shoot fly damage.
Rotate sorghum with cotton, groundnut, or sunflower, to reduce the damage by shoot fly, midge, and head bugs.
Intercropping sorghum with pigeonpea, cowpea, or lablab also reduces the damage by stem borers.
Collecting and burning of stubbles and chaffy earheads, and feeding the stalks to cattle before the onset of monsoon rains reduces the carryover of stem borers and midge.
Plant sorghum varieties with less susceptibility to insect, are relatively less damaged by shoot fly and stem borers.
Treat seeds with carbofuran (5% a.i.), thiamethoxam (9.0 ml/kg seed), or imidacloprid (0.165 mg/kg seed) to improve plant stand, seedling vigor, and reduce the damage by shoot fly and to some extent stem borer, and maize aphid.
When the shoot fly damage reaches 5 to 10% of the plants with deadhearts (Plate 1), the crop may be sprayed with cypermethrin 10 EC (750 ml/ha) or endosulfan 35 EC (350 g a.i./ha). Alternatively, carbofuran granules (5 to 7 granules/plant) may be applied in the leaf whorls (Fig 36).
For stem borers, dusts or granules can be applied in the whorl leaves of damaged plants or the entire field can be sprayed with endosulfan, fenvalerate, or cypermethrin.
Application of carbofuran granules in the leaf whorl to control
shoot fly and stem borer damage in sorghum
- Neem seed kernel extract (5 kg/ha) or Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) formulations can be sprayed for the control of stem borers, armyworms, and head caterpillars.
- For sorghum midge, the crop may be sprayed at the 50% flowering stage (1 midge/panicle) with endosulfan or cypermethrin. Early and uniform planting of the crop in a geographical area minimizes shoot fly, midge, and head bug damage.
- For earhead bugs (1 to 2 bugs per panicle) and head caterpillars (2 – 3 larvae per panicle), the crop may be sprayed at the completion of flowering and at the milk stage with endosulfan or cypermethrin.
- Use of insect tolarent varieties such as ICSV 700 and ICSV 93046 minimizes losses due to shoot fly and stem borer.
- Use of intercrops such as pigeonpea and mung bean minimizes the risk of crop failure, and reduces insect damage.
- Use of carbofuran or imidachloprid seed treatment (@ 10 g / kg of seed) in case of delayed sowing or application of carbofuran granules in the soil (1.0 kg ai/ha) at the time of sowing to controls shoot fly. After seedling emergence, 15 - 20 carbofuran granules are placed in the leaf whorls to control shoot fly, stem borer, aphids, and shoot bug or imidachloprid or acephate are sprayed to control the aphids and shoot bug.
- Carbaryl (0.5 – 1.0 kg ai/ha) or fenvalerate (75 – 100 g ai/ha) or endosulfan (700 g ai/ha) are sprayed at 50% flowering to control sorghum midge (when we see > 1 midge fly per panicle) and at completion of flowering (1 bug per 2 panicles) for head bugs. At the milk stage, endosulfan or fenvalerate is sprayed if there are 5 to 10 nymphs per panicle.