USDA Announces Funding for Pest and Disease Management Projects
On Feb. 15, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $66 million to support 407 projects that will strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, and safeguard the nursery production system.
USDA provides funding for these projects under the authority of the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721.
Also included is $6 million for the National Clean Plant Network that will support 26 projects that focus on providing high quality propagated plant material free of targeted plant pathogens and pests.
“This vital program helps USDA build mutually beneficial partnerships with state governments, academic institutions, and other important agricultural cooperators across the country,” said USDA Secretary Perdue. “Our partners use these USDA funds and their own expertise to conduct critical projects that keep U.S. crops, nurseries, and forests healthy, boost the marketability of agricultural products within the country and abroad, and help us do right and feed everyone.”
Since 2009, USDA has supported more than 2,346 projects and provided approximately $293.5 million in funding. 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 to make sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.
In addition to these allocations, USDA is reserving $3.8 million to support rapid response during invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence, such as Asian gypsy moth, European cherry fruit fly, coconut rhinoceros beetle, exotic fruit flies, or spotted lanternfly be detected anywhere in the United States or U.S. Territories.
You can view the FY 2019 Plant Protection Act, Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-