APHIS Posts Plant Health Trade Directors’ Area of Coverage

APHIS has updated and posted its area of coverage list for Phytosanitary Issues Management Plant Health Trade Directors.

APHIS’ Plant Health Trade Directors work with importers and exporters to develop work plans that ensure imported foreign agricultural commodities and U.S. agricultural exports are free from potentially harmful plant pests and diseases. 
 
Plant Health Trade Directors are part of APHIS’ Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM) team. PIM facilitates and negotiates, through the use of transparent and science-based processes, the safe export and import of agricultural commodities. PIM serves as the primary point of contact for communication with foreign national plant protection organizations concerning plant health issues impacting agricultural trade.
 
For more information about PIM, please visit the APHIS Web site https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_international/ct_phytosanitary_management

APHIS Seeks Comments on several draft pest risk assessments

The governments of Swaziland, China and Brazil have asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of various commodities for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

These risk assessments include citrus, pomegranates and jujube. Continue reading

USDA Invests $17.7 Million in Plant Health and Production Workforce

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 54 grants totaling more than $17.7 million for plant research that helps optimize crop production, mitigate disease, and increase yield. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Plants are the foundation of diet for both humans and animals,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is imperative to invest in research to stay ahead of the biological and environmental constraints, and develop new technologies to produce a secure, nutritious food supply for a growing population.” Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Foundational Program

The AFRI Foundational Program supports grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. The program supports single-function and integrated research projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants to address one of the Program Area Priorities (see AFRI Foundational Program Request for Applications for details). Continue reading

APHIS Adds Pale Cyst Nematode (Globodera pallida) Infested Field in Idaho

Effective December 21, 2016, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added a 150-acre field to the pale cyst nematode (PCN) infested area in Bingham County, Idaho. APHIS took this action based on the confirmations of PCN cysts in soil samples from a potato production field in Bingham County received on December 21, 2016. This action brings the number of PCN-infested fields to 27 and the infested area to 3,047 acres. The total area in Idaho under regulation remains at 9,540 acres. Continue reading

USDA Seeks Applications for Fiscal Year 2017 National Clean Plant Network Cooperative Agreements

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting stakeholders to submit applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) projects under the 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007.

APHIS will accept applications for FY 2017 NCPN cooperative agreements from August 17, 2016 through October 26, 2016. Continue reading

USDA Awards More Than $14.5 Million to Support Plant Health and Resilience Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $14.5 million in grants to support research into plant health, production and resilience. These grants were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“As global temperatures rise, we are already seeing that our crops and native plants are increasingly threatened by pests, diseases and invasive species,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Research into growing more resilient, stress tolerant crops that use water and nutrients more efficiently will offer farmers new tools to produce crops sustainably, and will benefit consumers with food security in the face of climate change and the loss of agricultural land.” Continue reading