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USDA Provides More than $3 Million to Support Projects that Protect Texas Agriculture and Natural Resources

photo of woman in a greenhouse holding a box of vegetables

Contacts:
Cecilia Sequeira, 301-851-4054
K.Cecilia.Sequeira@usda.gov 
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070
Suzanne.M.Bond@usda.gov  

WASHINGTON, February 8, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $3 million to Texas 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 372 projects in 49 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. USDA provides this funding under the authority of the Plant Protection Act Section 7721.

“Texas has more than 248,000 farms and ranches, which sell more than $24 billion in agricultural products. One out of every 7 working Texans makes a living in agriculture. Protecting Texas’s agricultural industry is critical,” said USDA Under Secretary Jenny Moffitt. “These projects will help Texas protect its resources and contribute to keeping our nation’s agricultural economy strong.”

These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health and pest mitigation activities, including, but not limited to:

  • $408,944 for research on targeted antimicrobials, bait sprays, and other measures for Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) management;
  • $297,774 to study the impacts of phage therapies on bacterial plant pathogens;
  • $266,514 to improve sterile insect technique;
  • $252,750 to support National Clean Plant Network plant stocks for citrus and roses;
  • $247,354 to improve the efficacy of therapeutics to Huanglongbing-infected citrus trees;
  • $208,216 to develop a microbial control of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus to protect Texas citrus; and
  • $155,010 for the deployment of a predatory mite (Amblyseius swirskii), to suppress Asian citrus psyllid populations in residential and organic citrus.

Since 2009, USDA has supported more than 4,800 projects and provided nearly $740 million in PPA 7721 funding. Collectively, these projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive plant pests and diseases. They also help our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure disease-free, certified planting materials are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.

View the fiscal year 2022 Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website: www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.



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.

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