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USDA Provides $1.9 Million to Texas 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 $1.9 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 $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.

“Texas is a critical partner in protecting U.S. agriculture,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “With this funding, Texas 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:

  • $571,000 for critical entry point monitoring for the pests of biosecurity concern;
  • $319,422 to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and roses;
  • $290,399 for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)-based diagnostic tools for the rapid identification of the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis);
  • $172,540 for detection surveys and eradication of the invasive root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus) in South Texas;
  • $98,365 for modeling analysis of pest risks to agricultural timber and the Southern pine beetle;
  • $89,199 to support methods development using microbial and viral metagenomes for Mexican fruit fly;
  • $75,122 for molecular detection of Angiostrongylus parasites of human concern in established invasive mollusks in Texas and Louisiana;
  • $65,000 for conducting a stone fruit commodity survey in Texas;
  • $60,000 to support an integrated Texas State-wide invasive pest and plant health public education and outreach program;
  • $60,000 to survey for exotic wood-boring beetles in pine and oak trees in Texas

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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