Several pests affect sugarcane but, fortunately, there are only a few major pests that cause serious economic harm. Insect pests are usually grouped into four broad categories, namely Leaf Eaters, Leaf Suckers, Stem Borers and Soil Pests.
SASRI advocates an Integrated Pest management (IPM) approach to suppressing insect pest levels. IPM involves integration of several pest control techniques to discourage the development of pest populations and to keep pesticide usage at levels that are economically justified and environmentally responsible.
The Stalk Borer, Eldana, is the industry’s most serious pest, resulting in a total loss (direct and indirect) of over R 1 billion per season. SASRI advocates an Integrated Pest management (IPM) approach to suppressing insect pest levels. IPM involves integration of several pest control techniques to discourage the development of pest populations and to keep pesticide usage at levels that are economically justified and environmentally responsible.
For more information, please contact the SASRI Library (Tel: 031 508 7514 or Email: email@example.com) for a copy of IPM for Eldana control.
Nematodes are microscopic soil organisms which can cause serious root damage, particularly in sandy soils, resulting in reduced yields and fewer high yielding ratoons. Nematodes are widespread throughout the SA sugar industry with estimated annual yield losses of 1.6 million tons cane (currently equating to an approximate loss of R450 million each year).
Nematodes cannot be seen with the naked eye and symptoms of root damage are not always easily visible. Above-ground symptoms are also not conclusive as they could be indicative of other problems such as nutrient deficiency or water stress.
Sending soil and root samples to SASRI is the only way of establishing whether you have a nematode problem. The laboratory will identify the type of nematode and then provide the appropriate recommendation for its effective control.
Nematode Testing Prices (2018/19)
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SASRI’s Biosecurity staff work together with Local Pest, Disease and Variety Control Committees to prevent or minimise loss and damage caused by pests and diseases. For more information on our Extension & Biosecurity please see the information provided below or visit or Extension & Biosecurity page.
Pests and Diseases Under Surveillance
There are a number of exotic pests and diseases (not indigenous to South Africa) that present a threat to our industry.
Please keep a look out for these threats. Thank you for helping us keep track of these pests.
Chilo saccariphagus stalk borer
Not yet in South Africa
Not yet in South Africa
Fall Army Worm
Only found in Maize
Call the Biosecurity Hotline on: 031 508 7459 or 7544