Soon there could be no domestic potatoes on the shelves: The wire worm has damaged a quarter of the potatoes in Austria in 2018 so that they can no longer be marketed as food products, according to the article by Medianet.at.
In a normal year, Austrian potato growers harvest 450,000 tons. According to an estimate of the LK Lower Austria, wire worm alone has to have destroyed some 112,500 tons in 2018. This amount would be enough to provide 2.25 million Austrians with potatoes for one year. The considerable crop failures have sparked a tough debate over pesticides. Because of the prohibitions imposed in recent years, the peasants had no regularly approved means available to fight wire worm. Organic agriculture was even more affected by the wire worm.
Less output, but demand remains unchanged
"We consumers want less use of pesticides, even outside of organic cultivation. In 2018, in Austria this led to the fact that a large part of the potato harvest had been infested by wire worm and had to be destroyed. However, even if there are no domestic potatoes in the spring, people will not stop eating chips or potato salad. Where these potatoes have to come from, is usually not even questioned."