WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $1.7 million to Massachusetts from Section 7721 of the Plant Protection Act 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 $66 million in funding this year to support 407 projects in 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. USDA provides this funding under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721.
“Massachusetts is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach.“With this funding, Massachusetts will be able to better protect its own resources, and, in doing so, 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:
- $340,000 for monitoring and detection tools for spotted lanternfly (SLF);
- $212,900 to develop biological control methods for the management of SLF;
- $143,900 to identify effective treatments for SLF control;
- $140,529 to develop attract-and-kill tools to monitor and manage the khapra beetle;
- $134,103 for facilitating the use of microsporidian pathogen, Ovavesicula popilliae, for long-term suppression of Japanese beetle;
- $131,250 in support of the Asian longhorned beetle public awareness campaign;
- $129,488 to investigate the role of endosymbionts in the lifecycles of SLF;
- $108,596 for methods development on population genetics of hybridization between non-native winter moth and native bruce spanworm;
- $85,994 toward the development of diagnostic tools for species of an economically important leafhopper genus Scaphytopius; and
- $71,000 for forest and agricultural pest outreach.
Since 2009, USDA has supported 2,346 projects and provided approximately $293.5 million in funding under the Plant Protection Act. 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.
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-projects.
APHIS created the Hungry Pests public outreach program to empower Americans with the knowledge they need to leave these “hungry pests” behind. Visit www.aphis.usda.gov/hungrypests to learn more about invasive plant pests and diseases impacting your area and how you can help.
For more articles out of New England, click here.