Corn Leafhopper Plagues Corn Crops, Causing Agricultural Emergency in Argentina: How National and Provincial Governments are Combating the Pest

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

The corn leafhopper, a deadly insect vector of Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria, has caused an agricultural emergency in several provinces in Argentina. The emergency is affecting provinces such as Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa. According to National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain, the agricultural emergency has three stages.

The first stage involves tax benefits for affected producers, such as income tax payment. In the second stage, zoning is used to determine the areas affected by satellite images. The third stage involves exempting or postponing the payment of rural real estate tax based on each province’s agreement. The project calls for cooperation between the National Government and affected provincial governments to minimize the impact of the pest. They recommend that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries along with National Institute of Agricultural Technology establish management protocols for producers to follow.

The corn leafhopper has spread rapidly this year to provinces like Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and La Pampa causing alarm due to its impact on corn crops. 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 thousand hectares across 27 departments could be significantly affected by the pest according to Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange with areas in Santa Fe

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