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The corn leafhopper, a small but persistent insect vector of the Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria, is causing a lethal disease that threatens cereal crops in several provinces of Argentina. National deputies Luis Picat and Martin Ardohain have presented a project to declare an agricultural emergency due to this pest, which has affected regions 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 by exempting them from income tax payments. Additionally, it proposes zoning using satellite images to determine the extent of the damage caused by the leafhopper. The National Government and provincial governments are urged to work together to reduce the impact of this pest on agriculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries along with technical teams from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) are requested to establish management protocols for producers based on regional differences. Experts estimate that this year has seen the most abundant population of leafhoppers in the last decade. This has led to significant production losses in regions such as central Santa Fe, northeast Córdoba, and western Entre Ríos.

The corn leafhopper is a persistent carrier of the Spiroplasma kunkeli bacteria that causes recurrent diseases in agricultural regions. Despite its small size it poses a significant threat to cereal crops production. To mitigate this agricultural emergency coordinated efforts are needed from all stakeholders involved in agriculture in affected provinces.

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