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

Combating a Corn Crop Threat: National Deputies Propose Agricultural Emergency Declaration Amid Ongoing Outbreaks

In recent years, the corn leafhopper has become a significant threat to cereal crops in several provinces of Argentina. The disease is caused by the Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria and is transmitted by the leafhopper insect vector. As a result, many farmers have been forced to reduce their production levels or abandon their crops altogether.

To address this emergency, two national deputies, Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain, have presented a project to declare an agricultural emergency in affected 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 and work with local governments to establish management protocols for producers based on regional differences.

However, experts believe that more needs to be done to control the spread of the disease. According to them, this year has seen the most abundant population of leafhoppers in the last decade. The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange has already reduced the corn harvest forecast due to the damage caused by the leafhopper 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 of the disease have led to significant production losses. Despite its small size compared to other pests like caterpillars or weevils, the corn leafhopper is a persistent carrier of Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria causing recurrent diseases in agricultural regions.

Overall, addressing this agricultural emergency requires coordinated efforts from all stakeholders involved in agriculture in these affected provinces.

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