USDA's $17.6 Million to California Ag

USDA's $17.6 Million to California Ag

The USDA is allocating $17.6 million to projects that protect California agriculture and natural resources.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Policy Manager Van Pichler says the agency wants to tackle invasive pests entering the country through imports.

The money is earmarked for surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation.

The funds will support more than a dozen projects… including $4 million to the use of detector dog teams to sniff out invasive plant pests at ports of entry.

“The dogs are trained on specific scents, and they’ve had really great success in detecting Giant African Snail, Spotted Lantern Fly, Japanese Beatle, and Mexican Fruit Fly larva and others.”

Another pest-detection project includes $268,500 for x-ray technology.

“It’s a project we are using to develop technology contrast x-ray imaging, and artificial intelligence to detect invasive pests.”

Under the Plant Protection Act, the USDA says its providing more than $70 million in funding this year to support 372 projects in 49 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

To apply for other funding opportunities opening this summer, go to

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