WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $3.7 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 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.
“Florida has about 47,000 farms and its agriculture and agribusiness contribute more than $132 billion to the State’s economy. Protecting Florida’s agricultural industry is critical,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “These projects will help Florida protect its resources and contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agricultural economy strong.”
These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including:
- $1 million to survey for invasive fruit flies in the State;
- $453,757 to establish and evaluate Brazilian peppertree biological control;
- $429,448 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and grapes;
- $175,659 for biological control efforts against the cactus moth;
- $261,293 for the registration of Verticillium Nonalfalfae to manage the invasive tree of heaven.
- $160,972 for the application of novel and effective oviposition deterrents, or chemicals that deter insects from egg-laying, for Bactrocera dorsalis and other invasive fruit flies; and
- $119,118 for the identification of giant African snail odors to include in detector dog training.
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. These projects 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.