Declaring an Agricultural Emergency: Fighting the Corn Leafhopper Pest in Argentina

Project proposal to declare agricultural emergency in response to severe corn pest outbreak.

In recent years, the corn leafhopper, an insect vector of the Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria, has become a major threat to cereal crops in several provinces across Argentina. National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain have introduced a project to declare an agricultural emergency in these affected areas. The emergency involves three stages: tax benefits such as income tax payment, zoning using satellite images to determine the affected areas, and exempting or postponing rural real estate tax based on each province’s agreement.

The spread of the corn leafhopper has caused significant damage to crops in provinces like Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa this year. The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange has reduced the corn harvest by 2.5 million tons due to the pest and heat wave, with further damage expected. An estimated 360,000 hectares across 27 departments could be significantly affected by the pest. Areas in Santa Fe, Córdoba, and Entre Ríos are experiencing severe outbreaks, leading to production losses.

To minimize the impact of the pest, national deputies Picat and Ardohain recommend that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries along with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology establish management protocols for producers to follow. The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange is also working closely with farmers and government agencies to find solutions to combat this pest problem.

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