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WCR (Western Corn Rootworm) - Costs of eradication and containment measures

Potential pecuniary losses due to WCR (Western Corn Rootworm) and cost of eradication measures have been calculated in detail. In case of avoidance of the potential pecuniary losses the amount represents the benefit. On the other hand there are the costs for the eradication. Both, pecuniary losses as benefit and cost of eradication have to be compared for an analysis. The avoidance of losses is over a longer period if no further introduction or the ongoing of ’natural’ spread infested the former hot spot again. Economic damage is expected in high-risk areas in the 6th year of establishment. We calculated the potential pecuniary losses for France (FR), Germany (DE), Italy (IT), Austria (AT), Belgium (BE) and Switzerland (CH) for 6, 10 and 15 years after establishment of WCR.

The calculation includes the change of crop rotation (no continuous maize) without recompense for the farmers (no costs) and costs for a trapping system. Two scenarios on the basis of the spreading simulations are covered to calculate the losses of maize in the infested areas, the spreading rate with and the spreading rate without containment measures. On both infested areas we would expect damage after 5 years. However, the ongoing spread of WCR without any measures should be faster than with containment measures. Therefore, we get a difference in infested area over the considered period of one decade. The difference in infested areas leads to a difference in pecuniary losses. The comparison of the costs for containment (in our case only for the trapping system because crop rotation was not considered) and the difference of pecuniary losses as described before represent the benefit or the pecuniary loss. This was done for France (Colmar), Germany (Passau), Italy (Como), Austria (Kittsee), Belgium (Arlon) and Switzerland (Kreuzlingen).

The costs for eradication are split in a low, medium and high version for one year. One year of eradication is to be likely if only a small hot spot of infestation exists (such as single specimens on a single maize field in a region with low concentration of maize). However, it is also possible that the eradication measures have to be done for more than one year like in Italy. The number has then to be multiplied by the number of years. Benefit depends on the situation in the different regions and countries. In case of Italy (Venice) with high concentration of maize, costs of eradication are relatively low with about 154,000 Euro per year (high cost version) in comparison to about 20.3 million Euro loss after 6 years (one year of economic damage). The cost/benefit ratio would be 1 to 131 for one year of eradication and 1 to 44 for three years of eradication.

Furthermore, in Italy the potential loss would be about 432 million after 15 years and the cost/benefit ration would be 1 to 2,820 in case of one-year eradication and 1 to 935 in case of three years of eradication. The pecuniary difference would be in both cases more than 430 million Euro over 15 years without WCR. In Germany (Frankfurt am Main), we would have a different situation. As there is only very little maize in the Frankfurt region and in most cases no continuous maize in crop rotation, the WCR would reach areas with high concentration late. In this case the potential loss is expected late and total pecuniary loss would be 28.1 million Euro after 15 years. After 6 or 10 years, no pecuniary loss is expected and therefore we would have only the costs for eradication, which would run at about 205,000 Euro. The benefit in the period would be negative, but in the long run positive with more than 27 million Euro after 15 years. On the other hand eradication in areas with low maize in crop rotation is much more easier than in areas with high concentration of maize like in the Venice region in Italy. The analysis of 10 years shows that in most cases we could expect a benefit from eradication of WCR in the mentioned countries. After 15 years we would benefit in any case and this benefit would be significantly high.

Reported by

Biologische Bundesanstalt fur Land- und Forstwirtschaft
Stahnsdorfer Damm 81
14532 Kleinmachnow
Germany
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