Seed companies have now had multiple growing seasons to observe their hybrids and should have a good grasp of their tolerance level to sugarcane aphids. Growers in those regions where sugarcane aphid has been a reoccurring issue should visit with their seed company representative as well as seek advice from regional extension agronomists and entomologists when choosing hybrids.
When choosing a sugarcane aphid tolerant hybrid, all of the criteria used for selecting a non-tolerant hybrid should be considered. Growers are better off to plant a regionally adapted non-tolerant hybrid with good yield potential over a poorly adapted tolerant hybrid. Sugarcane aphid can be controlled with good scouting and timely insecticide application, if needed.
Current commercially available tolerant hybrids are NOT immune from sugarcane aphid. However, research has consistently shown that sugarcane aphids reproduce slower on tolerant hybrids and in some cases are able to withstand a higher sugarcane aphid population without a reduction in yield compared to susceptible hybrids. Tolerant hybrids should be scouted and an insecticide should be applied once the economic threshold has been reached.
Private companies and university sorghum breeders continue investigating tolerance and resistance. They have identified better sources of sugarcane aphid resistance and tolerance and are working to incorporate these qualities into commercially available hybrids.
Check with your seed company on which of their hybrids are most tolerant to sugarcane aphid. Many companies are now designating their most tolerant hybrids with a brand. For example, Alta Seeds brands their most tolerant hybrids with the APHIX brand.