• Mon. May 27th, 2024

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


Mar 27, 2024

National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain have introduced a project to declare an agricultural emergency in several provinces due to the corn leafhopper, an insect vector of the Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria that is deadly to cereal crops. This emergency is affecting provinces such as Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and La Pampa.

The agricultural emergency has three stages, as explained by Picat. The first stage involves tax benefits, such as income tax payment. The second stage involves zoning to determine the affected areas using satellite images. The third stage involves exempting or postponing the payment of rural real estate tax based on each province’s agreement.

The project also 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 the 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.

According to the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange, 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 the Spiroplasma kunkelii bacteria, causing disease that has become more prevalent in recent years.

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