Agro-Crisis: National Deputies Propose Emergency Measures for Corn Leafhopper-Infested Areas

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

In response to the rapid spread of the corn leafhopper, which is a deadly insect vector for cereal crops, National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain have proposed a project to declare an agricultural emergency in several provinces. The project aims to minimize the impact of the pest on affected areas by providing tax benefits, zoning assistance, and rural real estate tax exemptions or postponements.

The three stages of the agricultural emergency were explained by Picat. In the first stage, producers will receive income tax payment benefits. In the second stage, satellite images will be used to determine the affected areas through zoning. Finally, in the third stage, rural real estate tax payments will be exempted or postponed based on each province’s agreement.

To further mitigate the impact of the pest, Picat and Ardohain recommend that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries work closely with affected provincial governments to establish management protocols for producers to follow. The National Institute of Agricultural Technology will also play a crucial role in this effort by providing technical support and resources.

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 360,000 hectares across 27 departments could be significantly affected by the pest leading to production losses in Santa Fe, Córdoba and Entre Ríos. The pest transmits Spiroplasma kunkelii bacteria which causes disease that has become more prevalent in recent years.

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