WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $1.5 million to Pennsylvania 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 more than $70 million in funding this year to support 383 projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. USDA provides this funding under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721.
“Pennsylvania has more than 50,00 farms and ranches and a competitive timber industry. About 90,000 residents work in the State’s timber industry, which generates more than $11.5 billion in sales annually. Protecting Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry is critical,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “These projects will help Pennsylvania protect its resources and contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agriculture economy strong.”
These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including:
- $354,690 for spotted lanternfly (SLF) outreach and education to raise public awareness about the pest in the State;
- $219,290 to improve detection and suppression of SLF;
- $157,219 to prevent the spread of SLF through automated detection and citizen science;
- $135,437 to support the Sentinel Plant Network, which contributes to plant conservation nationwide by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers, and visitors in the detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests and pathogens;
- $91,434 to monitor satellite populations of SLF in the State; and
- $80,000 to support orchard surveys in the State.
Since 2009, USDA has supported nearly 4,400 projects and provided more than $670 million in funding. Collectively, these projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive plant pests and diseases. They also help our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.
As the United States and the world recognize the International Year of Plant Health through June 2021, this funding highlights USDA’s continued commitment to safeguarding our agricultural resources for current and future generations.
View the fiscal year 2021 Plant Protection Act Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website: www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.