USDA Provides $70 Million for Agricultural Pest and Disease Protection
WASHINGTON, DC - Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will be providing almost $70 million in funding this year to support 386 projects in 48 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721. Of the funding provided this year, $12.7 million will be allocated to California as part of its effort to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation, and to safeguard the U.S. nursery production system.
“California is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Through these projects, California will be able to better protect its own resources and contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agriculture economy healthy and strong.”
According to the USDA’s press release, these funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities in California, including the following:
- $4.8 million to survey for harmful exotic fruit fly populations in the State
- $2,731,066 to support California’s agricultural detector dog teams in searching for harmful, exotic plant pests in packages at mail and express parcel delivery facilities
- $2,507,446 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus, grapes, fruit trees, sweet potato, and roses
- $1,837,791 to support California’s Emergency Plant Health Response Teams in responding to, delimiting the infestation area, and managing outbreaks of exotic plant pests
- $450,000 to conduct citrus pest surveys for citrus commodities
- $400,000 to survey for Asian defoliator moths
- $400,000 to support pest and disease mitigation research to protect ornamental nurseries
- $289,055 to develop tools for the identification and detection of Graminicolous downy mildews, a group of plant pathogens that threaten corn, wheat, rice, and barley crops
- $245,357 to support the development and evaluation of using a sterile insect release program to help manage navel orangeworm, which is a harmful pest to the production of many fruits and nuts
Since 2009, USDA has supported more than 4,000 projects and provided nearly $600 million in funding through the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program. 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.
As the United States and the world celebrate the International Year of Plant Health in 2020, this funding highlights USDA’s continued commitment to safeguarding our agricultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, click here to access the FY 2020 Plant Protection Act Section 7721 Spending Plans from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
With an investment as large as nearly $70 million, the ANUK team can't help but notice that any investment in ag is another surefire way of defending fresh produce's market share from the CPG snacking industry. As more from our industry join this fight against produce's biggest competitor, AndNowUKnow will continue to bring updates as they come.