The Western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, has been a seri-ous quarantine pest to maize in Europe since the mid-1990s. The integrated pest management of WCR requires an accurate knowledge of the factors that contribute most to risks of crop damage, as well as knowledge of effective area-wide strategies based on agronomic measures, such as crop rotation. In Italy and Croatia, agronomic and cultural factors in fields damaged by WCR were eval-uated through a long-term survey. Based on the survey results, high-WCR densities contribute most to risks of damage to maize. Extensive field research in north-eastern Italy compared large areas of continuous maize production with areas under different crop rotation systems (i.e., a structural one with one-time maize planting in a three-year rotation and a flexible one with continuous maize planting interrupted when beetle populations exceed the threshold). The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of different rotation regimes as possible best practices for WCR management. Captures of beetles in yellow sticky traps, root damage, larval densities, and damage to maize plants (e.g., lodging) were assessed at the center of each area. The results demonstrated the both structural and flexible crop rotation systems were effective strategies for maintaining WCR below damage threshold densities without the need for insecticides.
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