October 16, 2007
Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced today universities in four states will receive $950,000 in cooperative agreements for research against harmful pests and diseases. UC Davis Gets $175,000 to study the olive fruit fly.
"We have selected six research projects that will help identify effective means to prevent the introduction of invasive plant pests and animal diseases," said Conner. "Protecting agriculture from pests and disease is a major priority to protect our food security and economic investment through prevention, control and eradication."
The agreements announced today will provide funding to universities in California, Colorado, Indiana, and Mississippi. These research projects are competitively awarded by the Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM), administered by USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS). Among the subjects the projects will examine are:
University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, $175,000 - Researchers will examine the economic efficiency of alternative strategies for managing mobile insects and analyze incentives for homeowners and commercial growers to participate in regional pest management organizations, using the olive fruit fly, a pest spreading in California, as a case study. The project will consider effects of the pest's mobility between commercial groves, abandoned groves, and ornamental trees on public and private property, as well as on markets for olives and olive oil.