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USDA Provides More than $2.3 Million to Projects that Protect North Carolina 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 more than $2.3 million to North Carolina 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.

“North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness—including food, forestry and fiber—contribute $95.9 billion to the state's economy. Protecting North Carolina’s agricultural industry is vital,” said USDA Under Secretary Jenny Moffitt. “These projects will help North Carolina 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:

  • $360,659 to support the National Clean Plant Network plant stocks for sweet potato and berries;
  • $202,702 to develop analytical support for systems and survey tools designed to model the impact invasive pests may have in new environments;
  • $308,523 to develop a data-driven and sensor integrated platform for monitoring emerging Phytophthora diseases;
  • $224,150 to support trade route analytic computing and evaluation;
  • $137,446 to manage emerging plant pest and pathogen threats using tangible landscape technology;
  • $146,178 to develop a delimitation survey tool for new pest response teams;
  • $151,623 to develop new predictive modeling approaches to estimate plant pest suitability; and
  • $142,822 to develop and test a rapid-screening framework for evaluating exotic 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. 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:

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