(USDA) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $4 million to Florida 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. Overall, USDA is providing almost $70 million in funding this year to support 386 projects in 48 states, The District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. USDA provides this funding under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721.
“Florida is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Through these projects, Florida 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.”
These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including the following:
- $1,313,904 to support Florida’s detector dog teams and enhanced efforts to detect harmful, exotic plant pests in packages at mail and express parcel delivery facilities;
- $1 million to survey for harmful fruit fly populations in the State;
- $600,000 to protect Florida as the leading producer of lychee and longan in the United States by supporting litchi mite eradication activities;
- $384,558 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and grapes;
- $301,930 for research in Florida to develop biological control efforts against the Harrisia cactus mealybug, which is known to be in the State, and protect cactus resources in Puerto Rico;
- $217,186 to assess the potential for using sterile insect technique, mating disruption, and other tactics to eradicate box tree moth in the U.S.;
- $147,613 to support biological control and mitigation of the brown marmorated stink bug
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.
You can view the FY 2020 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-projects.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture