USDA to provide almost $70 million for plant and pest disease projects


The USDA has allocated almost $70 million to support the Plant Protection’s Act, a program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies.

The money will go to 396 projects across 48 states, Washington D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico.

“This program helps USDA build mutually beneficial partnerships with state governments, academic institutions, and other important agricultural cooperators across the country,” said Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “Our cooperators use these USDA funds to conduct critical projects that keep U.S. crops, nurseries, and forests healthy, boost the marketability of agricultural products within the country and abroad.”

Here is a look at some of the projects that will be funded:
• Exotic fruit fly survey and detection: $5,800,000 in Florida and California;

• Agriculture detector dog teams: $4,124,783 to programs in California, Florida, and Guam to enhance package inspections, and training for these detector dog teams.

• Forest pests: $1,758,938 for various detection, methods development, or outreach to protect forests from harmful pests in 24 states including Arkansas, Indiana, North Dakota and New Hampshire;

• Honey bee and pollinator health: $1,728,882 to protect honey bees, bumble bees and other important pollinators from harmful pests;

• Biosecurity: $1,167,022 to Texas to safeguard the border trade of agricultural shipments.

• Stone fruit and orchard commodities: $944,875 to support pest detection surveys in 16 states, including South Carolina and Rhode Island;

• Phytophthora ramorum and related species: $854,506 in 22 states and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis, and outreach;

• Grapes: $565,326 to enhance surveys for grape commodity pests and diseases in 17 states, including Tennessee and Washington; and,

• Citrus: $463,280 to support citrus commodity surveys in California and Louisiana.

Additionally, $15.5 million is saved for rapid response funding in the case of an invasive pest emergency. In the past, rapid responses were needed for the Giant African snail, European cherry fruit fly, coconut rhinoceros beetle, exotic fruit flies and spotted lanternfly.

Since 2009, the USDA has used close to $600 million to support 4,000 pest management programs.

You can learn more here.