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USDA allocates $58M to plant pest, disease protection

February 17, 2016 -  By

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released its plan for allocating more than $58 million in special Farm Bill funding to protect agriculture and horticulture from plant pests and diseases. The funds come from the 2014 Farm Bill’s Horticulture title, a key legislative priority for AmericanHort.

“For many years, the Farm Bill has been about row crops and livestock, but a decade ago, Congress began to acknowledge the importance of specialty crops and horticulture in America,” said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort senior vice president for advocacy and research. “Specialty crops represent half the value of all U.S. crop production, and our industry represents one-third of the total value of specialty crops. This program represents a wise investment in solutions to enable future success.”

The funding will be deployed to 434 projects in 50 states and several U.S. territories. The following projects are a few of the plan’s highlights, according to AmericanHort:

  • The Horticultural Research Institute will receive $149,500 to support the continued development of the Systems Approach to Nursery Certification project, in partnership with the National Plant Board and USDA. Eight nursery and greenhouse operations across the country are currently piloting this new approach to plant production and certification;
  • The National Ornamentals Research Site at Dominican University of California will receive $509,283 in continued funding, as well as several specific research projects that will deliver needed tools and information to deal with threats such as Phytophthora ramorum and other challenges confronting the nursery sector;
  • Granular insecticide treatment efficacy work for Japanese beetle and Red imported fire ant in Compost-Amended Substrates; and
  • $39,600 will be allocated to best management practices for control of bacterial gall, an emerging threat to Loropetalum.
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LM Staff

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