Cecilia Sequeira, 301-851-4054
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070
WASHINGTON, January 5, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $17.1 million to California 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.
“California has more than 76,000 farms and ranches, which generate about $100 billion in related economic activity. Protecting California’s agricultural industry is critical,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “These projects will help California protect its resources and contribute to USDA’s mission of keeping our nation’s agricultural economy strong.”
These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including:
- $4.575 million to survey for invasive fruit flies in the State;
- $4 million to support California’s agricultural detector dog teams which search for harmful invasive plant pests in packages at mail and express parcel delivery facilities;
- $2.9 million to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus, grapes, fruit trees, sweet potato, and roses;
- $2 million to support California’s Emergency Plant Health Response teams in managing outbreaks of exotic plant pests;
- $400,000 to survey for Asian defoliator moths;
- $391,699 to develop tools for the identification and detection of Graminicolous downy mildews, a group of plant pathogens that threaten corn, wheat, rice, and barely crops;
- $375,000 to support pest and disease mitigation research to protect ornamental nurseries;
- $300,000 to conduct surveys for stone fruit commodities;
- $246,315 to support the development and evaluation of using a sterile insect release program to manage navel orangeworm –a harmful pest to California’s $6 billion pistachio and almond crops; and
- $225,000 to conduct citrus pest surveys for citrus commodities.
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. These projects 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.