The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $63.5 million for efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive pests and diseases and support the supply of clean plant stock.
The new grants announced March 22 come from the 2014 Farm Bill, under section 10007, which “strengthens our nation’s ability to safeguard U.S. specialty crops, agriculture, and natural resources by putting innovative ideas into action,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach in a statement.
Top priorities include: $6 million to support the National Clean Plant Network’s efforts in 18 states, including 1.2 million for the tree fruit, grape, and hop programs in Prosser, Washington; $4.8 million for dog detection teams at ports in California and Florida; $14.2 million for rapid responsive to invasive pests including the Asian gypsy moth, European cherry fruit fly, spotted lantern fly, and others; and $851,184 for surveys of grape pests and diseases and support of the Grapevine Nursery Stock Certificate Programs.
Since 2014, the Farm Bill has provided $228 million for more than 1,849 projects to protect the agricultural industry from invasive pests and diseases. The funding will support work by state agencies and university researchers.
In Washington state, smaller grants include support for research on a variety of pests of concern including: Asian defoliator moths, root-knot nematodes, vineyard snails, exotic psyllids, and phytophthora, along with support for new viral assessments of certified apple rootstock stoolbeds.