The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $5 million to Texas 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.
“Texas has about 247,000 farms and ranches, which sell more than $24 billion in agricultural products. Protecting Texas’s agricultural industry is critical,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “These projects will help Texas 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:
- $1,339,183 for critical entry point monitoring for the pests of biosecurity concern;
- $464,259 to develop diagnostic tools for all life stages of Anastrepha and other fruit fly pests;
- $285,146 to support a CRISPR-based antimicrobial for the targeted removal of bacterial plant pathogens;
- $280,762 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and roses;
- $258,261 to support targeted antimicrobials to maximize the production and health of Anastrepha ludensi, the Mexican fruit fly
- $250,683 to improve the efficacy of nanoparticles for delivery of therapeutics to HLB-infected citrus trees; and
- $176,962 for expanding coverage of species complexes of Bactrocera fruit flies.
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.
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