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USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is charged with implementing Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Jul 2015; 5.6 MB) to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment. Under the Farm Bill, APHIS provides funding to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation, while working to safeguard the nursery production system.
Section 10007 authorizes permanent funding for the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program (PPDMDP) and the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN), with $62.5 million in Commodity Credit Corporation funding allocated by Congress each year from FY 2014-FY2017 and $75 million per year in FY 2018 and beyond. At least $5 million must go to NCPN each year.
White-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed more than six million bats over the past decade. WNS is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). Studies show that bats eat enough insect pests to save the U.S. corn industry more than $1 billion a year in crop damage and pesticide costs, and more than $3 billion per year to all agricultural production including forests.
To help fund the research needed to combat this deadly disease, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced $2.5 million in grants for research of high priority questions about WNS that will improve our ability to manage the disease and conserve affected bats.