Plant & pest protection projects are getting a hefty boost from USDA

The expansion of food trade is good for the global economy but it also opens the doors for foreign insects and plant diseases.

It is why USDA just announced $70 million in spending for a series of 350 projects aimed at stopping pests from entering the United States. USDA says the money will also maintain a rapid response team for when a plant pest does make it through.

The Department’s Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory programs says USDA goes to great lengths to protect the ag sector from disease.

“So much of what we eat or clothe ourselves is due to plants. Because of wonderful things like global trade as well as visitors coming in and out of the country, of course, climate change, there’s movement around the world of different products and so we run the risk of introducing invasive plants or pests in our country that our crops are not used to. So it’s really important to protect our nation’s agriculture from invasive plants and pest diseases. So this funding funds projects that do exactly that,” said Jennifer Moffitt.

28 projects through the National Clean Plant Network are also set to get funding to allow for more testing between states and tribal nations.

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