Vilsack announces new projects that will fight plant pests and diseases

In Southwest Farm Press

USDA officials report another year of grants are being rolled out over the next few weeks in support of hundreds of new research projects designed to develop better and more effective ways to fight the spread of plant diseases and curb invasive pest outbreaks in the years ahead.

Section 1007 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 provides annual funds to be allocated for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to review and award funding to projects that focus on the growing problems of plant disease and pest pressure on U.S. agriculture and ways to better manage and control them with environmentally-friendly strategies.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that $58.25 million of Section 1007 funding for 2016 will be distributed among a total of 434 projects that prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment and ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States for years to come.

“Through the farm bill we are working with our partners and stakeholders to not only ensure the global competitiveness of our specialty crop producers but to fight back against the destruction caused by invasive pests,” said Vilsack. “The projects and centers funded through this effort are helping to develop and put in place the strategies, methods and treatments that safeguard our crops, plants, and natural resources from invasive threats.”

He reported funding will be provided for projects in all 50 States plus Guam and Puerto Rico to implement projects suggested by universities, States, Federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, non-profits and Tribal organizations.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

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