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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is accepting proposals for National Clean Plant Network projects and plans to announce the recipients later this year, according to a press release. APHIS will accept proposals through Oct. 12 and anticipates awarding a minimum of $5 million in cooperative agreements for the 2019 fiscal year.

The National Clean Plant Network provides high-quality propagated plant material tested for pathogens and pests at clean plant centers located around the country, with each center specializing in one crop. The centers act as quarantine facilities and maintain specialty crops.

The funding awards will go to universities, ag colleges, state agricultural experiment stations, state governments and federal agencies, with priority given to programs “that address covered specialty crops and help develop and maintain a comprehensive, cohesive and efficient clean plant network to address clean plant needs for diagnostics, therapy, and the establishment of foundations,” according to the release. The network’s funded specialty crops have focused on grapes, fruit trees, citrus, hops, berries, roses, and sweet potatoes.

More information is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/planthealth/section10007/ncpn.

Here is the complete press release:

APHIS Announces National Clean Plant Network Request for Proposals

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 07/23/2018 02:00 PM EDT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting stakeholders to submit proposals for fiscal year (FY) 2019 National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) projects. APHIS will accept proposals from July 23 through October 12, 2018. APHIS anticipates awarding a minimum of $5 million in cooperative agreements under NCPN.

The NCPN protects the specialty crop industry by providing high-quality propagated plant material that is tested for plant pathogens and pests. Also, should disaster strike, the NCPN will ensure the viability of the specialty crop industry by providing foundation stock to restore damage or destroyed crops.

USDA’s goal is to support an effective, uniform, consistent, efficient, and highly self-sufficient network of clean plant centers. Clean plant centers are located around the country with each center specializing in one crop. The centers act as quarantine facilities where diseased plant material can be rid of plant pests and pathogens. The centers also maintain specialty crop, including ornamental plant, mother stock.

Funding will be provided to Land-Grant Universities, non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, State Governments, and Federal Agencies to support implementation and ongoing activities of the NCPN.

Funding priority is given to programs that address covered specialty crops and help develop and maintain a comprehensive, cohesive, and efficient clean plant network to address clean plant needs for diagnostics, therapy, and the establishment of foundations. NCPN funded specialty crops have focused on grapes, fruit trees, citrus, hops, berries, roses, and sweet potatoes.

APHIS will announce the FY 2019 projects selected for funding in the NCPN spending plan in late 2018. Once USDA issues its spending plan, successful candidates will then conclude their application process through ezFedGrants.

Detailed submission instructions for submitting proposals and an explanation of the evaluation process are available by reviewing the “NCPN FY 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP)” document found on the APHIS website here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/planthealth/section10007/ncpn

Applicants should submit proposals and associated material directly to USDA APHIS at ncpn@aphis.usda.gov

Submissions at this RFP stage should consist of harmonized work plans submitted jointly by several applicants for a specific crop or individual applicant work plans; associated financial plans; and any other requested documentation as per the RFP.

Questions about the FY 2019 RFP and review process should be directed to ncpn@aphis.usda.gov