Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Determination of WCR (Western Corn Rootworm) high-risk areas in selected EU countries and potential damage assessment

France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg have 1.646 million ha of high-risk maize areas. This is about one-fourth of the maize-growing areas of these countries. The 7 above-mentioned EU member states reflect 1.642 million ha high-risk and 20.7% of the entire maize-growing area of the EU.

Considering absolute figures, Italy has the largest high-risk area with 551,918ha. Considering relative figures, this makes up 43.4% of its whole maize-growing area. Thus it ranks second after the Netherlands with a percentage of 69.2. In the Netherlands, missing crop rotation in maize-growing areas is very suitable for the development and multiplication of the WCR. In future, the concentration in maize growing will lead to high damage or intensive control of WCR (Western Corn Rootworm).

France (467,956ha) and Germany (347,620ha) have also large high-risk areas in continuous maize. In Germany for example, the four federal lands Lower Saxony, Northrhine-Westfalia, Bavaria, and Baden-Wurttemberg have high-risk areas of 133,509ha, 114,113ha, 86,992ha, and 13,006ha, respectively. In Austria, the percentage of 21.1 maize high-risk areas is comparable with the situation in Germany. The spatial distribution of the high-risk areas in Austria, which could be probably infested in 2002, is shown in. The situation in East Austria is characterised by low maize in concentration (>= 15%), which reduces the spreading rate of WCR. In Belgium, one-third of the maize-growing areas show a high concentration of maize. The situation is much better in Switzerland (7.1%) and in Luxembourg (no high-risk area).

The percentage of high-risk areas in grain maize & CCM and silage maize reflects the percentage of the relevant growing areas in the 7 countries except for France. In France, the percentage of high-risk areas in grain maize & CCM is higher (89.9%) than the percentage in grain maize & CCM (55.9%). The largest high-risk area in grain maize & CCM amounts to 551,918 ha and is situated in Italy. The largest high-risk area in silage maize amounts to 217,867ha and is situated in Germany. Referring to all of the 8 countries under analysis, the high-risk areas in grain maize & CCM amounted to about 1.178 million ha and in silage maize to about 0.469 million ha.

In Italy, which has one-third of the total maize high-risk areas of the 8 countries, the situation is difficult. Lombardia, Piemonte and Veneto regions are infested by WCR. Veneto is the only region allowing successful eradication. Lombardia region, the largest maize-growing region in Italy, has 251.893ha maize high-risk areas. These areas cover 76.9% of the Lombardia maize-growing region. Furthermore, Lombardia region has 45.6% of the total maize high-risk areas of Italy and 15.3% of maize high-risk areas of the 8 countries analysed. In Lombardia region, out of 1,163 maize-growing municipalities 796 municipalities have maize high-risk areas. 176 municipalities in Lombardia region have exclusively continuous maize (100%) and 459 municipalities have at least or more than 75% maize in crop rotation. The conditions for multiplication and further spreading of WCR in Lombardia region are very favourable. This will have an enormous influence on the spread ongoing in Italy.

Reported by

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