USDA Provides over $75 Million in State and National Projects Regarding Agriculture and Natural Resources

Dan Agri-Business, Specialty Crops, USDA, USDA-APHIS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its investment of more than $75 million to state and national projects regarding agriculture and natural resources. More than $5 million will be dedicated to the state of Florida and more than $70 million will be utilized towards protecting the United States from invasive plants and species.  


The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) is allocating more than $5 million to Florida from Section 7721 of the Plant Protection Act to protect Florida’s crops and natural resources.  

“Florida’s 47,300 farms and ranches span 9.7 million acres. It’s a major producer of oranges, strawberries, tomatoes and bell peppers,” said USDA Under Secretary Jenny Moffitt. “These projects will help protect Florida’s agricultural industry, which by extension protects our national food security.”  

These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health protection activities including, but not limited to:  

  • More than $1.2 million to support detector dog inspection and domestic pest detection.  
  • $500,000 to survey for invasive fruit flies in the state.  
  • $377,000 to support clean plant programs for citrus.  
  • $414,782 to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration requirements for Verticillium nonalfalfae invasive tree-of-heaven management.  
  • $327,153 to conduct genetic plant and insect research to manage citrus greening disease.  
  • $258,666 to establish and test a biological control of air potato.  
  • $250,000 to establish and test a biological control for the Brazilian peppertree.  
  • $223,795 to develop biological control agents for use against cogongrass.  
  • $203,196 to survey tomatoes in the state for destructive, invasive pests.  

USDA is providing more than $70 million in funding this year to support 374 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. The work will strengthen the country’s defenses against plant pests and diseases, safeguard the U.S. nursery system and enhance pest detection and mitigation efforts.  

Out of the 374 projects funded this year, 353 are managed by the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program and 21 are supported through the National Clean Plant Network. The Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program projects are organized around specific goal areas that represent critical needs and opportunities to strengthen against, prevent, detect, and mitigate invasive pests and diseases. The National Clean Plant Network helps maintain the infrastructure needed for pathogen, disease and pest-free-certified planting materials, benefiting U.S. specialty crop producers.  

Some of the projects selected for funding this year include:  

  • Agriculture plant pest detector dog teams: $6,265,992 allocated to California, Florida and nationally to support detector dog team training and maintenance for domestic pest detection.  
  • Tribal organization’s plant protection research, survey, outreach and invasive pest mitigation efforts: $1,545,290 in 6 states.  
  • Forest pests: $1,240,130 for various detection tools, control methods development, and outreach to protect forests from harmful pests in 15 states, including Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.  
  • Sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum) and related species: $1,068,589 in 17 states, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and nationally for survey, research, mitigation and outreach.  
  • Invasive defoliating moths: $1,456,893 to support surveys and enhance identification technologies in 16 states, including Alaska, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, and North Carolina.  
  • Certified, disease-free citrus planting materials: $1,759,935 to protect American nurseries and growers from economic losses caused by citrus plant diseases.