USDA Provides More Than $4.7 Million to Projects That Protect Florida Agriculture and Natural Resources

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $4.7 million to Florida as part of a nationwide effort to strengthen the country’s infrastructure for pest detection, surveillance, and mitigation, as well as protecting the U.S. nursery system.

“Florida’s 47,500 farms and ranches span 9.7 million acres. It’s a major producer of oranges, strawberries, tomatoes and melons,” said USDA Under Secretary Jenny Moffitt. “These projects will help protect Florida’s agricultural industry, which by extension protects our national food security.”

These funds will support projects covering a range of plant health protection activities including, but not limited to:

  • $1.2 million to support detector dog inspection and domestic pest detection;
  • $1 million to survey for invasive fruit flies in the state;
  • $422,188 to support clean plant programs for citrus and grapes;
  • $349,154 to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration requirements for Verticillium nonalfalfae use as a biopesticide to manage the invasive tree of heaven;
  • $250,000 to establish and test Brazilian peppertree biological control;
  • $215,030 to develop biological control agents for use against Cogongrass; and
  • $160,000 to survey tomatoes in the state for destructive, invasive pests.

Since 2009, USDA has supported more than 5,170 projects and provided nearly $809 million in Plant Protection Act (PPA) 7721 funding. Collectively, these projects allow USDA and its partners to quickly detect and rapidly respond to invasive plant pests and diseases. These projects also enable our country to maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure disease-free, certified plants are available to U.S. specialty crop producers.

View the fiscal year 2023 Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website: