USDA spends $1.5 million on grants to combat invasive pests
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend $1.5 million on grants and cooperative agreements for organizations in eight states to study the economic effects of combating exotic pests and diseases.
“These research projects will help enhance our ability to fight invasive pests,” said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman in a statement.
The organizations, most of which are tied to state universities, are located in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
These organizations will study:
* Costs and benefits of alternative invasive species management strategies of other countries, at U.S. ports of entry and within the United States.
* Economic effects of regulations to prevent the import of invasive species that threaten U.S. forests.
* Economic issues related to the design and operation of voluntary insurance and mandatory check-off programs that provide help with the management of invasive species risks.
* Economic effects of livestock disease controls and how these effects may vary with efforts by ranchers or regulatory agencies to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
* How to best to distribute resources between exclusion and control strategies for representative invasive species.
* Economic effect of invasive species policies on trade, such as tariffs, commodity programs and crop insurance.
USDA said the research projects are competitively awarded by the Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management, which is administered by USDA’s Economic Research Service.