$70M Allocated by USDA for Invasive Pests, Clean Plants
USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach recently announced the allocation of almost $70 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 494 projects in 49 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. These projects prevent the introduction or spread of invasive plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the U.S.
“Through the Farm Bill Section 10007, the USDA strengthens our nation’s ability to safeguard U.S. specialty crops, agriculture, and natural resources by putting innovative ideas into action,” stated Ibach. “Getting these funds into the hands of our cooperators around the country helps us to keep U.S. plants, crops, and forests safe from invasive pests and diseases, enhances the marketability of our country’s products, and makes American agriculture and natural resources thrive.”
USDA has funded 1,849 projects with approximately $228 million in Section 10007 funding since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted. Collectively, these projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive pests and diseases. They also help our country maintain the infrastructure necessary for making sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.
This year, funded projects include, among others:
- Asian Defoliating Moth Survey and Response: $1,700,370 funding projects in 14 states;
- Giant African Land Snail: $1,643,151 to support ongoing eradication efforts in Florida;
- Agriculture Detector Dog Teams: $4,835,000 to programs in California and Florida to enhance package inspections;
- Grapes: $851,184 to enhance surveys for grape commodity pests and diseases in 18 states and harmonize Grapevine Nursery Stock Certification Programs;
- Citrus: $1,337,685 in support of citrus producing states to survey and develop diagnostic tools and conduct rapid response for viruses related to Citrus Leprosis;
- Plant Pest Rapid Response: $14,238,558 will be used for potential invasive pest emergencies such as Asian gypsy moth, European cherry fruit fly, coconut rhinoceros beetle, exotic fruit flies, spotted lanternfly, or the detection of any newly introduced, exotic pest that is of high economic consequence anywhere in the U.S. or U.S. Territories; and
- National Clean Plant Network: $6,049,997 to support 28 projects in 18 states that focus on providing high-quality propagated plant material for fruit trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses free of targeted plant pathogens and pests.