The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $2.24 million to Texas from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill as part of its effort to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation, and to safeguard the nursery production system. Overall, USDA is providing nearly $70 million in funding this year that will support 494 projects across the country.
“We are pleased to partner with Texas to provide critical Farm Bill funds that will put innovative ideas into action and help us overcome our shared invasive pest and disease challenges,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Texas is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture. These projects will enable Texas to protect its own resources, and, in doing so, contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agriculture economy healthy and strong.”
These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including the following:
- $685,000 for harmful plant pests and biosecurity monitoring at critical entry points into the State;
- $425,000 to conduct an enhanced citrus commodity pest survey in Texas;
- $388,000 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and roses;
- $227,000 for pest and disease management and mitigation targeting Anastrepha ludens and the potato and tomato psyllids, which are vectors of associated plant diseases;
- $208,000 for pest and disease survey activities for grape, stone fruit, and palm commodities, as well as exotic wood borers and bark beetles;
- $183,000 for molecular diagnostics for identification of Old World bollworm and Veronicellid slugs; and
- $122,000 to support Master Gardeners training to be exotic plant pest first detectors, sentinel pest network activities in State nurseries, and invasive plant pest public outreach and education.
USDA has funded 1,849 projects with approximately $228 million in Section 10007 funding since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted. Collectively, these projects continue to bolster our country’s safeguarding system while allowing USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive pests and diseases. You can view the FY 2018 spending plans on the APHIS Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/farmbill.
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/hungrypests to learn more about invasive plant pests and diseases impacting your area and how you can help.