USDA supports Plant Protection projects with $70 mn fund

The fiscal year 2021 project list includes 29 projects funded through the NCPN

Image credit: USDA

Image credit: USDA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $70 million to support 383 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies.  Universities, states, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. 

The fiscal year 2021 project list includes 29 projects funded through the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The NCPN helps our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure that pathogen-free, disease-free, and pest-free certified planting materials for fruit trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses are available to US specialty crop producers. 

In FY 2021, funded projects include, among others: 

  • Asian giant hornet research and eradication efforts: $944,116 in Washington and other states;
  • Exotic fruit fly survey and detection: $5,575,000 in Florida and California;
  • Agriculture detector dog teams: $4,287,097 to programs in California, Florida, and nationally to support detector dog teams;
  • Honey bee and pollinator health: $1,337,819 to protect honey bees, bumblebees, and other important pollinators from harmful pests;
  • Stone fruit and orchard commodities: $1,158,000 to support pest detection surveys in 10 states including New York and Pennsylvania;
  • Forest pests: $876,485 for various detection tools, control methods development, or outreach to protect forests from harmful pests in 16 states, including Arkansas, Indiana, South Carolina, and New Hampshire;
  • Solanaceous plants (including the tomato commodity): $434,000 to support surveys in 13 states including Texas, Mississippi, and South Carolina. 

USDA will use $14 million to rapidly respond to invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence be found in the United States.

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