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USDA Provides $17.6 Million to Projects that Protect California Agriculture and Natural Resources

photo of a woman in a greenhouse holding a box of vegetables

Cecilia Sequeira, 301-851-4054
Suzanne Bond, 301-851-4070  

WASHINGTON, February 8, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $17.6 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 protect the U.S. nursery 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.

“In 2019, California agriculture generated more than $50 billion in cash receipts and exports totaling about $21.7 billion. The state is a leader in U.S. agricultural production, and protecting that vital industry is essential to keeping our nation’s agricultural economy strong,” said USDA Under Secretary Jenny Moffitt. “These projects we are funding are focused on doing just that.”

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

  • $4.5 million to survey for invasive fruit flies;
  • $4 million to support agricultural detector dog teams, which search for harmful invasive plant pests in packages at mail and express parcel delivery facilities;
  • $3.1 million to support National Clean Plant Network foundation plant stocks for citrus and other fruit trees, grapes, roses and other crops;
  • $2 million to support state Emergency Plant Health Response teams in managing outbreaks of exotic plant pests;
  • $1.2 million to further develop and evaluate the existing navel orangeworm sterile insect release program, which reduces the pest’s impact on the state’s $6 billion pistachio and almond crops;
  • $446,000 to survey for Asian defoliator moths;
  • $209,814 to develop tools for the identification of pheromones and related attractants for invasive cerambycid beetles, which impact economically significant crops;
  • $350,000 to support pest and disease mitigation research to protect ornamental nurseries;
  • $300,000 to conduct surveys for stone fruit commodities; and
  • $268,500 to develop a technology that leverages contrast x-ray imaging and artificial intelligence to detect invasive pests.

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. 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.

View the fiscal year 2022 Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website:

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

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