More than $70 million in USDA funding is being dispersed for 350 projects nationwide through Section 7721 of the Plant Protection Act. Of that total, 322 projects under the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Program will receive $62.9 million and 28 projects under the National Clean Plant Network will receive $7.75 million.
Under PPDMDP, California will receive $15.1 million in FY 2023 to safeguard production in the country’s largest agricultural state, followed by the state of Washington which will receive the second highest allocation of $2.4 million and Texas which will receive $2.2 million.
In addition, California will receive slightly more than $3 million under the NCPN.
The USDA Agricultural Research Service received $1.5 million to advance research in the Navel Orangeworm Sterile Insect Technology (NOW SIT) project in the San Joaquin Valley. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the study focuses on mating disruption when sterile moths are introduced to mate with wild moths, eliminating the reproduction of viable offspring. Studies will be conducted on almond and pistachio orchards where the moth species typically lay their eggs inside susceptible nut hosts.
An additional $4.5 million was awarded to the CDFA to support the Exotic Fruit Fly Survey. The program will maintain 63,000 detection traps across the state to detect and monitor invasive fruit fly species. Funding was also provided for a Stone Fruit Commodity Survey ($350,000), Spotted Lanternfly Survey ($100,000) and a Nursery and Ornamental Survey ($155,544).
The CDFA was also awarded $4 million for developing the California Detector Dog Team Program, which equips rescued dogs with a 10-week training through the National Detection Dog Training Center. Once certified, the canines will enhance the inspection and surveillance of products entering the state.
An allocation of $2 million to the CDFA for the Emergency Plant Health Response Teams will prepare the group to quickly and efficiently eradicate pest infestations in the state.
Funding will be provided to projects at Stanford University, the University of California, Riverside, the University of California, the Dominican University of California and USDA APHIS.
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