USDA Plant Protection Act Funds Will Support MSU, Miss. Dept. of Agriculture Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will direct more than $581,000 to Mississippi in support of projects to combat pests and diseases that threaten the state’s agricultural foundation.

The USDA Plant Protection Act Section 7721 funding will support eight Mississippi-based programs administered by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) and Mississippi State University (MSU).  The funding derives from mandatory funding in the farm bill and is administered by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“Anyone driving around Mississippi today can see the destruction that the drought and pine beetles are doing to our timber.  These Plant Protection Act awards will help our state and the public work with USDA to detect and fight the plant pests and diseases that threaten crops,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on both the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.

For Mississippi, the seven Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program awards totaling $421,577 include:
•    MSU Mississippi Entomological Museum Screening Center – $170,000
•    MSU Mississippi Bug Blues – $77,825
•    MSU Mississippi Bug Blues Educator Education Boxes – $19,625
•    MSU Asian Defoliator Survey – $48,949
•    MSU Palm Commodity Survey – $44,753
•    MDAC Pine Commodity Survey - $39,414
•    MDAC Exotic Bark Beetle Commodity Survey – $21,011

The MSU-Pontotoc Mississippi Sweet Potato Clean Plant Program was awarded $160,000 through the National Clean Plant Network, which is a program to target plant pathogens and pests to ensure the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crop producers.