Funding Supports Local Projects to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases
WASHINGTON, March 22, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $33,000 to Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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. “The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) will survey for potato cyst nematode (PCN) in soil and for the khapra beetle, one of the most destructive pests of stored grain.”
While many of the foreign markets that were closed to U.S. potatoes after the discovery of PCN in Idaho in 2006 have reopened, continual survey efforts are necessary to maintain and expand foreign market access. NDA will conduct a survey of potato production areas in the state following procedures and protocols set by USDA to show the state’s commitment to maintaining pest-free areas.
The introduction and establishment of the khapra beetle in Nebraska could cause significant economic damage. Regular survey is therefore essential for early detection and, if found, a coordinated rapid response. NDA will work with USDA to identify and focus on international markets likely to bring in khapra host beetle materials, using the results to support continued foreign market access for Nebraskan agricultural products.
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 USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.