Jan 18, 2023USDA provides more than $70 million to protect crops and natural resources from invasive pests and diseases
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $70 million to support 350 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program as part of a nationwide effort to strengthen the country’s infrastructure for pest detection, surveillance and mitigation, as well as protect the U.S. nursery system. Universities, states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 48 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
“These funds provide state governments, universities, tribal organizations and other essential cooperators across the nation the tools they need to protect U.S. agriculture, natural resources, and food security,” said Jenny Moffitt, under secretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs. “These projects also advance science in the fight against invasive plant pests and diseases and expand export opportunities for American growers.”
Of the 350 projects funded in fiscal year 2023, 28 projects are funded through the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The NCPN helps our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure that pathogen, disease and pest-free-certified planting materials are available for U.S. specialty crop producers who grow citrus, other fruit trees, berries, grapes, hops, roses, and sweet potatoes.
Since 2009, USDA has supported more than 5,170 projects and provided nearly $809 million in funding through the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program. These projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and respond to invasive plant pests and diseases.
Some of the projects funded this year include:
- Northern giant hornet research and eradication efforts: $992,766 in Washington;
- Agriculture plant pest detector dog teams: $6,000,477 to California, Florida, Hawaii and nationally to support detector dog team training and maintenance for domestic pest detection;
- Box tree moth: $974,865 to survey and protect American boxwoods from the invasive pest;
- Stone fruit and orchard commodities: $1,293,416 to support pest detection surveys in 11 states, including California, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah;
- Forest pests: $1,127,313 for various detection tools, control methods development, and outreach to protect forests from harmful pests in 16 states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin;
- Sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum) and related species: $642,775 in 15 states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis and outreach;
- Solanaceous plants (including tomato): $244,704 to support surveys in 8 states, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Oregon, and West Virginia.
USDA will use $13.5 million to rapidly respond to invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence be found in the United States. In the past, USDA has used these funds to rapidly respond to pests such as the northern giant hornet, spotted lanternfly, coconut rhinoceros beetles, invasive fruit flies, and the box tree moth.
Learn more about the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website: www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-