More than $70 million has been allocated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist with pest prevention. Support is being provided to 383 projects aimed at bolstering pest detection, identification, and surveillance, as well as to ensure the safety of nursery production. The selected projects will be undertaken in 49 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. California is set to receive a significant portion of the funding support from USDA.
“State governments, academic institutions, and other essential cooperators across the country use these USDA funds to protect American crops and natural resources and ensure the marketability of our agricultural products across the globe,” Under Secretary for USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach said in a news release.
The pest prevention projects for fiscal year 2021 will be carried out by states, federal agencies, universities, nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and Tribal organizations. Funding for 29 of the projects is being made possible through the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). A total of $17.1 million has been allocated for projects in California.
More than $4.5 million will be used for a survey of invasive fruit flies and $400,000 is designated for surveying Asian defoliator moths. Surveys for stone fruit commodities will be supported with $300,000 in funding and surveys for citrus pests will receive $225,000 in support. A project for developing tools related to the identification and detection of Graminicolous downy mildews has been approved for nearly $400,000.
Nearly $5 million will be split between the National Clean Plant Network and Emergency Plant Health Response teams. A project involving agricultural detector dog teams in California is set to receive $4 million. Close to $250,000 will be used for supporting a sterile insect release program to manage navel orangeworm. Finally, a project to support pest and disease mitigation research for the protection of ornamental nurseries will receive $375,000.