USDA Set To Give Plant Protection Efforts a Big Boost

USDA is investing more than $70 million in 374 projects through the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program. The work will strengthen the U.S. defenses against plant pests and diseases, safeguard the U.S. nursery system, and enhance pest detection and mitigation efforts.


Universities, states, Tribal organizations, federal agencies, and others will manage these projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Out of the 374 projects funded this year, 353 are managed by the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, and 21 are supported through the National Clean Plant Network. The Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program projects are organized around specific goal areas that represent critical needs and opportunities to strengthen against, prevent, detect, and mitigate invasive pests and diseases. The National Clean Plant Network helps maintain the infrastructure needed for pathogen, disease, and pest-free-certified planting materials, benefiting U.S. specialty crop producers.

Some of the plant protection projects selected for funding this year include:

  • Agriculture plant pest detector dog teams: $6,265,992 allocated to California, Florida, and nationally to support detector dog team training and maintenance for domestic pest detection;
  • National Honey Bee Survey: $1,521,204 to support honey bee surveys in 41 states and territories.
  • Box tree moth: $890,137 to survey and protect American boxwoods from the invasive pest;
  • Stone fruit and orchard commodities: $1,045,748 to support pest detection surveys in 12 states, including Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Washington;
  • Northern giant hornet research and eradication efforts: $1,097,052 in Washington;
  • Invasive defoliating moths: $1,456,893 to support surveys and enhance identification technologies in 16 states, including Alaska, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, and North Carolina; and
  • Certified, disease-free citrus planting materials: $1,759,935 to protect American nurseries and growers from economic losses caused by citrus plant diseases.

USDA plans to allocate approximately $11 million for rapid responses to invasive pest emergencies, addressing pests with high economic consequences. In the past, USDA has used these funds to respond quickly to threats like spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorned beetle, and invasive fruit flies.

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