IPM in practical wireworm control: a challenge!


Abstract: Wireworm control in mainstream farming to date consists of applications of chemical compounds. Despite many years of research and development targeting at non-chemical alternatives, mainly including entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) and plant extracts, and some market introductions, there is much room for increase of their market share. Although research has made a huge effort in working towards improvement, market penetration of non-chemical wireworm control is hindered by product properties as difficulty to handle/apply, less than optimal efficacy, and the farming community’s unfamiliarity with the product(s), all of these being interconnected. Following the EU Directive 2009/128/EC, all EU Member States have to comply with stricter guidelines regarding IPM before 2023. In many countries retail parties play an important role in this force field, following from public awareness on crop protection issues. All of these factors imply increased (re-)registration pressure on the current chemical compounds and open new opportunities for introduction of non-chemical alternatives. Use of these alternatives may need a change in approach, and close collaboration between research, extension services and farmers. The result can be a system innovation with a recognised position of both adequate and reliable monitoring and non-chemical wireworm control. Examples are provided of possible ways to achieve the goals described.

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