Global trade in food and agricultural products is expanding rapidly.  And while that may be good for the farm economy, it does increase the risk of foreign insects and pests getting into the country, and U.S. crops may not have natural defense for these pests and diseases.


“So its really important to protect our nation's agriculture," noted Under Secretary of agriculture Jennifer Moffitt.  She recently announced funding aimed at doing that, with over $70 million allocated toward a series of different projects.  USDA will fund 350 projects, ranging from new scientific research on plant pests, to continuing work at ports of entry to prevent pests from coming into the U.S. and also maintaining a rapid response team when something does somehow come in.


“So, when we have a plant pest emergency that arises throughout the year, we stand ready to activate our rapid response network.” 


Moffitt added there's also a clean plant network that helps make sure that nurseries and specialty crop growers have access to pest free planting materials. 


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