Corn Leafhopper Outbreak Declares National Agricultural Emergency in Multiple Provinces

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

A national emergency has been declared in several provinces due to the corn leafhopper, an insect vector of the deadly Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria. This pest is affecting areas such as Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa.

The agricultural emergency has three stages: tax benefits for producers to pay income tax; zoning using satellite images to determine affected areas; and exempting or postponing rural real estate tax based on each province’s agreement. Cooperation between the National Government and provincial governments is necessary to minimize the impact of this pest. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries along with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology should establish management protocols for producers to follow.

The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange has reported a 2.5 million-ton reduction in corn harvest due to this pest and heat wave. An estimated 360,000 hectares across 27 departments are at risk from the outbreaks in Santa Fe, Córdoba, and Entre Ríos. The disease caused by Spiroplasma kunkelii bacteria has become more prevalent in recent years.

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