European corn borer (ECB) creates tunnels inside the plant stalks, causing damage, which could significantly decrease yield loss. This study aimed to determine the relationship between damage caused by ECB larval feeding and different irrigation and nitrogen fertilization rates on different maize genotypes. We conducted a field experiment in Croatia from 2012 to 2014. Increased plant nitrogen adsorption was observed under irrigation only in drought years, and it was decreased in optimal or extremely wet years. We found a weak or a moderate relationship between ECB damage and nitrogen concentration, but the greatest ECB damage was in all years recorded in treatments with the highest fertilization rates. However, the highest plant nitrogen concentration was observed in the hybrid with the lowest damage from ECB larvae. The maize damage caused by ECB larval feeding was negatively affected by high plant nitrogen concentrations only when plants were under drought stress. Nitrogen uptake was increased in irrigated plots. We did not find a strong relationship between the C/N ratio or irrigation and intensity of ECB damage. In 2012, when the narrowest C/N ratio was calculated, the greatest damage by ECB was measured. Further studies are needed since we detected the significant impact of drought on intensive ECB larval feeding.
Part of the book: Pests, Weeds and Diseases in Agricultural Crop and Animal Husbandry Production