Sugarcane aphids are tiny bugs causing a big problem for South Plains farmers. And they’ve quickly multiplied in more than a few fields area-wide, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
The aphid crossed from its namesake host crop—sugarcane—to sorghum, but entomologists aren’t sure why.
“There’s been some kind of shift in host preference—we don’t know why—where they prefer sorghum,” said Pat Porter, an entomologist for Texas A&M AgriLife.
Because their populations grow so quickly, Porter recommends frequent checks to detect the aphids. And when they reach a threshold of about 50-125 aphids per leaf, he recommends applying insecticide.
Internal memos released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee show the Army Corps of Engineers questioned the legal and technical basis for the Clean Water Act rule just weeks before its release, according to Agri-Pulse.
Those documents warned the draft had “fatal” problems that would make the rule, which takes effect Aug. 28, difficult to defend in court. Concerns were also raised with the economic analysis and technical support documents for the rule.
Leaders of the committee questioned EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to determine if the administration addressed the issues raised by the Corps before finalizing the rule. In a hearing last week, McCarthy said the EPA had satisfied the Corps of Engineers’ concerns.
The rule is now being challenged in multiple lawsuits filed by states, agriculture, businesses and other groups.
Summer rains have been good for Texas Panhandle crops, landscapes and Lake Meredith. Last month’s rainfall added about 4 feet to the lake’s water level, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.
It’s currently at 57 feet—a level not seen since 2007.
“We’re not used to normal inflow,” said Canadian River Municipal Water Authority General Manager Kent Satterwhite.
And the water quality is continually improving.
“As water quality improves with fewer dissolved solids (including chlorides or salt), the more lake water we can blend in,” he said.