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Research Project: Integrated Insect Pest and Resistance Management on Corn, Cotton, Sorghum, Soybean, and Sweet Potato

Location: Southern Insect Management Research

Title: Biology, ecology and management of key sorghum insect pests

item Okosun, Olabimpe
item Allen, Clint
item Glover, James
item Reddy, Gadi V.P.

Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2020
Publication Date: 1/18/2021
Citation: Okosun, O.O., Allen, K.C., Glover, J.P., Reddy, G.V. 2021. Biology, ecology and management of key sorghum insect pests. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 12(1):1-18.

Interpretive Summary: One of the most important cereal grain crops worldwide is sorghum, Sorghum bicolor L. Moench (Poaceae). The grain is used for food and preparation of beverages, while the stalks are used for animal feed, fuel, and fence construction in some rural areas. In the USA, sorghum is the second most important grain used for ethanol production. Sorghum is a highly adaptable crop that can withstand soil toxicities, drought, and diverse temperatures to produce high yields; some hybrids even had higher yields if drought stressed. However, insect pest damage poses a threat to sorghum’s productivity. Insect pests attack various developmental stages of the plant, from seeds to seedlings, whorls, flowering structures, and mature grain. About 150 insect species (in 29 families) affect sorghum worldwide and these insects can be key, secondary or occasional pests. In this review, we discuss the biology of important key sorghum pests in different regions, current management strategies, and prospective control tactics for sorghum insect pests.

Technical Abstract: Sorghum, Sorghum bicolor L. Moench (Poaceae), is a highly valued crop cultivated worldwide, with the grain and stover being of equal importance in some developing countries. Sorghum can produce high yields even under adverse environmental conditions, however damage from insect pests at various stages of the plant’s development can reduce its productivity, impacting low-income farmers in developing countries. Important sorghum insect pests include leaf sucking species, leaf feeding species, stalk or stem borers, pests of the panicle and of the stored grain. Modern control strategies include cultural controls, biological control, pesticides (chemical, botanicals or microbial), and host plant resistance. An integrated approach is recommended and based on a combination of insect growth regulators and conservation practices to protect natural enemies at the landscape level. Long term successful management also requires regulatory policies to limit the invasion of new pests.