Project presented to declare agricultural emergency following invasion of destructive corn pest

National Deputies Declare Agricultural Emergency Amid Spread of Deadly Corn Leafhopper Disease in Multiple Provinces

The agricultural emergency caused by the corn leafhopper has been declared by National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain. The insect vector of the Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria is causing a lethal disease for cereal crops in provinces such as Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa.

The project aims to provide tax benefits to affected farmers. This includes payment exemptions for Income tax. Additionally, it proposes zoning to determine the affected areas using satellite images. The project also urges the National Government and provincial governments to work together to reduce the impact of the pest.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries along with technical teams from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) are requested to establish management protocols for producers based on regional differences. Concerns have been raised due to the spread of the disease to new provinces like Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and La Pampa.

According to experts, this year has seen an abundant population of leafhoppers in comparison with previous years. The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange has already reduced the corn harvest forecast due to damage caused by leafhoppers and heat waves. Producers estimate even greater losses than projected.

The affected regions include central Santa Fe, northeast Córdoba and western Entre Ríos where severe outbreaks have led to significant production losses. Despite its small size, the corn leafhopper is a persistent carrier of Spiroplasma kunkelii bacteria causing recurrent diseases in agricultural regions.

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