Sugarcane Aphid Reappears in South Carolina Sorghum


Sugarcane aphids have made their annual migration to South Carolina to feast on grain sorghum.  The bugs can’t survive South Carolina winters so they migrate from warmer states each year. Once here, they can quickly colonize plants by the thousands.

In addition to injuring or even killing grain sorghum plants, sugarcane aphids secrete a sticky substance that can clog and damage agricultural harvesting equipment. Field trials in other states have shown sugarcane aphids to cause 20-50 percent crop loss in some fields and total loss in others, including in South Carolina. Growers should scout fields for aphids once or twice weekly and, in most cases, if more than 50 aphids are found on one leaf, growers should apply an insecticide, such as Transform WG or Sivanto Prime.

Deadlines Approaching for Entries into the NC Mountain State Fair

Deadlines are quickly approaching for folks hoping to showcase their skills and hard work at the 2017 N.C. Mountain State Fair, Sept. 8-17 at the Western N.C. Agricultural Center.  July 28 is the entry deadline for many of the competitions, including livestock shows, cooking contests and the Gospel Singing Contest.

This year’s Entry and Award Catalog features a few additions and changes from 2016, which participants will want to pay close attention to. For a full, updated list of competitions, rules and entry deadlines, go to

EU and Japan Strike Trade Deal

The E.U. and Japan have struck a trade deal in principle that if finalized, could put U.S. agriculture and other products at a competitive disadvantage in the huge Japanese market. The deal still needs technical work before the E.U. and Japan can implement it but this week’s announcement in the lead-up to the G-20 economic summit in Germany signals a possible loss for the U.S. and U.S. agriculture. D.C.

Ag trade consultant and a former USDA trade chief, Paul Drazek…

“It’s troubling that, at least in agriculture, for food and agricultural products, the Japanese market will be more open to products from Europe, than it will be for products from the United States, now.”     Drazek suggests the US could have had from TPP, what Europe will now get from Tokyo

Mexico is No Longer Top Destination for U.S. Corn

U.S. corn shipments to Mexico have slipped in recent months and Mexico in no longer the number one buyer of American corn. It may be a sign that trade tensions are forcing the country to look elsewhere for corn in case the U.S. is no longer a reliable supplier. Japan has become the biggest importer of U.S. corn after boosting its purchases by 53 percent, totaling $1.19 billion.

Mexico began looking for other corn suppliers after President Donald Trump’s criticism, which began on the campaign trail when he said Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. through the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, Mexican corn purchases are picking up as the peso rebounds from a record low against the dollar in January.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.