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1st European Wireworm Workshop 7th July 2024

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Context

Wireworms are the soil-borne life stages of click beetles known to inflict damage on crops such as, potatoes, carrots, alliums, cereals, lettuces, beans, peas, and sugar beet. The larvae stages can cause significant damage by burrowing into roots and tubers and can feed for up to five years before pupating and leading to reduced quality and yield loss. The most damaging European species belong to the Agriotes genus and include, A. lineatus, A. obscurus, A. sputator, A. sordidos, A. gallicus, A. ustulatus. Recent climate changes, and the drive toward a greener European agriculture with reduced inputs as part of The European Green Deal has witnessed increasing wireworm problems. These mean the European arable agricultural sector needs to adapt innovation to offset increasing wireworms and related pest pressure.

Objectives

Following discussion at the Pathology and Pests Section meeting of the EAPR held in Arras, France in September 2023, it was agreed that there was need for greater cooperation between member states to manage the problem of wireworms in potatoes and other crops. The main objectives of the first workshop were then identified as outlined below :

  • Gather country-based information on wireworm problems and ongoing research and current skills.

  • Identify common problems between different countries.

  • Gather information on the control strategies being implemented in different countries.

  • Identify priority research areas.

  • Develop a collaborative research network to avoid duplication of efforts.

  • Develop a platform for sharing scientific information and outputs.

  • Develop interactive monitoring database to facilitate country-based reporting on species presence and abundance.

  • Promote the implementation of joint projects

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