U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach announced that USDA is allocating almost $70 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 494 projects in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. These projects prevent the introduction or spread of invasive plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States.
“Through the Farm Bill Section 10007, the USDA strengthens our nation’s ability to safeguard U.S. specialty crops, agriculture, and natural resources by putting innovative ideas into action,” said Under Secretary Ibach. “Getting these funds into the hands of our cooperators around the country helps us to keep U.S. plants, crops, and forests safe from invasive pests and diseases, enhances the marketability of our country’s products, and makes American agriculture and natural resources thrive.”
USDA has funded 1,849 projects with approximately $228 million in Section 10007 funding since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted. 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 for making sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.
This year, funded projects include, among others:
- Asian Defoliating Moth Survey and Response: $1,700,370 funding projects in 14 states;
- Coconut rhinoceros beetle: $2,323,880 to respond to infestations in Hawaii and Guam;
- Invasive pest and weed control on Tribal lands: $518,494 for five projects to support Tribal outreach and education initiatives and projects to mitigate and control invasive pests and noxious weeds on Tribal lands;
- Phytophthora ramorum and related species: $1,772,429 in 16 states and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis, and outreach;
- Giant African snail: $1,643,151 to support ongoing eradication efforts in Florida;
- Agriculture Detector Dog Teams: $4,835,000 to programs in California and Florida to enhance package inspections;
- Grapes: $851,184 to enhance surveys for grape commodity pests and diseases in 18 states and harmonize Grapevine Nursery Stock Certification Programs;
- Citrus: $1,337,685 in support of citrus producing states to survey, develop diagnostic tools, and conduct rapid response for viruses related to Citrus Leprosis;
- Palm Commodity Survey: $340,000 for work in 6 states;
- Forest pest outreach: $729,615 in 17 states for forest pest outreach, education, and emergency preparedness;
- Plant Pest Rapid Response: $14,238,558 will be used for potential invasive pest emergencies such as Asian Gypsy Moth, European Cherry Fruit Fly, Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, Exotic Fruit Flies, Spotted Lanternfly, or the detection of any newly introduced, exotic pest that is of high economic consequence anywhere in the United States or U.S. Territories; and
- National Clean Plant Network: $6,049,997 to support 28 projects in 18 states that focus on providing high quality propagated plant material for fruit trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses free of targeted plant pathogens and pests.
You can view the FY 2018 Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill spending plans on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/farmbill.
The public can help protect America’s agricultural and natural resources by being aware of invasive pests and the damage they cause. 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/pestsdiseases/hungrypeststo learn more about invasive plant pests and diseases impacting your area and how you can help. And, join the discussion about invasive plant pests via the Hungry Pests Facebook and Twitter pages.
Since the Farm Bill was enacted, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for American products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life throughout America. For more information, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/farmbill.