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by xfabre last modified 04-07-2006 15:46
This Specific support actions aims at contributing to the 6th framework programme of the EU (Integrating and strengthening the Foundation of the European Research Area) within the area 8.1.B.1.2. (Tools and assessment methods for sustainable agriculture and forestry management), call title "Scientific support to policies", call identifier FP6-2004-SSP-4, Task 5 "Harmonise the strategies for fighting Diabrotica virgifera virgifera".

The long term goal of DIABR-ACT is to establish a harmonised and sustainable control strategy for WCR populations both in the areas of continuous establishment and in the areas of discontinuously emerging populations. At the same time DIABR-ACT aims at minimizing the impact of these measures on biodiversity and the environment. These control strategies should also be adapted to the situation of each country involved and should take into account the situation of the farmers and the economic chains build upon the maize crop. These control strategies could include biological and integrated control, plant resistance traits, the adaptation of biotechnological approaches and cultural techniques.

Stakeholders participating in the Specific Support Action will be members from organizations involved in potential problems caused by this insect pest, i.e. farmers organizations, national plant protection services, policy makers, European research groups, cooperatives, chemical and plant breeding companies, environmental groups, respectively.

The focus of DIABR-ACT is on coordination of already established activities concerning the control of WCR by means of sustainable control measures. However, knowledge concerning the economic impact of WCR on farm, food or feed chain level is still limited. Thus, and evaluation of short and long term costs and benefits of containment and eradication strategies at the micro or macroeconomic level (farms, regions, countries, Europe) will be mandatory.

The outputs of DIABR-ACT will benefit the European Union by the following main results:

  • An increased awareness and understanding of the problems caused by this pest species encountered by plants breeders, farmers, and plant protection services.
  • A coordinated European Action Plan : harmonising and improving control and prevention of Western Corn Rootworm populations in Europe.
  • A coordinated European research plan : identifying the priority research areas and minimising parallel research.

Specific objectives :

  • Establish and maintaining an internet portal for relevant information on Western Corn Rootworm ecology, actual spreading scenarios of WCR and national regulations with regard to IPM (Integrated Pest Management) in maize
  • Promote exchange of ideas and cooperation between European research laboratories on WCR and plant protection companies
  • Develop a comprehensive and harmonised schedule for eradication measures when isolated colonisations are detected
  • Analyse costs and benefits for eradication and maize growth restriction scenarios
  • Propose a containment programme to reduce the fast spread of WCR
  • Address the impact of changing rotation systems to farmer income 
  • Evaluate the socio economic consequences of WCR infestations on farm level incomes
  • Specifically address the situation for farmers with reduced potential to rotate maize with other crops
  • Calculate economic threshold scenarios for farmers on a regional scale and country wide scale
  • Evaluate alternatives methods for controlling already established populations of WCR 
  • Promote research on insecticides and biological control agents targeting larvae of WCR
  • Understand the genetic background of European WCR populations
  • Initiate plant breeding programs to enhance resistance or tolerance in European maize cultivars
  • Address specific problems related to seed growing farmers
  • Propose an European management strategy against WCR within IPM of maize

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