Deadly Corn Leafhopper Outbreak Declares Emergency in Multiple Argentine Provinces: Government Initiatives to Minimize Damage

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

The agricultural emergency caused by the corn leafhopper is affecting several provinces in Argentina. The bug, an insect vector of Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria, is deadly to cereal crops and has been rapidly spreading this year. The National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain have introduced a project to declare an emergency in these areas.

The project has three stages: tax benefits for income tax payment, 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 affected provincial governments is also recommended to minimize the impact of the pest.

The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange reports that the corn harvest has been reduced 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. The pest transmits Spiroplasma kunkelii bacteria, causing disease that has become more prevalent in recent years.

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