Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), today announced that $48.1 million would be allocated to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten America’s agriculture economy and the environment. The funds are being made available through the Farm Bill and include $2 million for protection against exotic fruit flies in California. Scientists have placed a high-cost on the damage invasive species have on the economy, estimating a total economic impact of $120 million annually.
According to the USDA’s press release, Secretary Vilsack said, "Invasive pests cause billions of dollars in damage each year and endanger our nation's food security. The funds USDA is making available today will help partners and stakeholders develop strategies, products and treatments to safeguard our farms and natural resources from invasive threats."
Here’s a rundown of selected projects and the funding plan for each.
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