USDA Awards More Than $4 Million in Weedy and Invasive Species Grants
Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188
WASHINGTON, March 3, 2008 - Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced today that USDA is awarding $4.6 million to 13 universities and research labs to develop ecologically and economically rational strategies for management, control and elimination of weedy and invasive species, which cause more than $100 billion is losses each year.
The awards are administered by USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) through the National Research Initiative (NRI) Biology of Weedy and Invasive Species in Agroecosystems competitive grants program. This grant program has awarded more than $20 million in grants over the past five years.
This year, projects support integrated and basic research projects, equipment purchases, conference symposia and network development. Funded projects include research at Pennsylvania State University to establish and demonstrate effective biological control of the Canada thistle. Research at Oregon State University will develop and implement ecologically-based cropping systems that suppress summer annual weed populations in vegetable row crops. University of Wisconsin researchers will work to predict invasion of exotic species and their impact on tree regeneration and native plant diversity in Wisconsin lowland forests.
The fiscal year 2007 grants were awarded to:
CSREES' NRI program is the largest peer-reviewed, competitive grants program at USDA. NRI supports research, extension and education grants that address key problems of national, regional and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.csrees.usda.gov.