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USDA Provides $7.1 Million to Pennsylvania to Support Projects that Protect Agriculture and Natural Resources

Media Contacts:
Abbey Powell, 301-851-4054
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2019 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $7.1 million to Pennsylvania from Section 7721 of the Plant Protection Act 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 $66 million in funding this year to support 407 projects in 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. USDA provides this funding under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721.

“Pennsylvania is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “With this funding, Pennsylvania will be able to better 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:

  • $2.7 million for spotted lanternfly (SLF) control in infested areas of the State;
  • $1,594,295 for a State-wide survey for SLF infestations;
  • $1,355,839 to support SLF outreach and education to raise public awareness about the pest in the State;
  • $311,873 for developing methods for enhanced mitigation and rapid response to SLF to reduce the risk of its further spread and impacts across the US;
  • $200,000 to support the Sentinel Plant Network, which contributes to plant conservation Nationwide by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers, and visitors in the detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests and pathogens.
  • $162,717 for investigating SLF endosymbiont transmission and female reproductive development to better know how to control the pest;
  • $120,000 for a survey of invasive plant pests in Pennsylvania’s public gardens;
  • $100,000 for a survey of exotic plant diseases in orchards within the State;
  • $98,923 to assess the impact of SLF on forest species in the Mid-Atlantic area; and
  • $71,925 for improving survey methodology for wood-boring beetles with an emphasis on detecting visual cues indicating the presence of infestations.
Since 2009, USDA has supported 2,346 projects and provided approximately $293.5 million in funding under the Plant Protection Act. Collectively, these projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive pests and diseases. They also help our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to make sure that disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.

You can view the FY 2019 Plant Protection Act Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.

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/hungrypests to learn more about invasive plant pests and diseases impacting your area and how you can help.

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