Penn State has received a federal grant of $7.3 million that will be used for continued spotted lanternfly research and work toward developing strategies to combat the invasive pest, according to a staff report from the Penn State News.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be complemented by an additional $5 million in matching investments from various growers and landowners affected by the Asia-native insect. Many of them are already working with researchers on the issue.
“I am extremely grateful to the USDA for this funding as well as the growers and landowners who pledged to allow us use of their farms for this project,” said project lead Julie Urban, associate professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
The funding will go toward a four-year initiative that aims to quantify the impact the insect is having on at-risk specialty crops and develop tactics to reduce the damage in already affected areas. The initiative also aims to perform essential fundamental research on the pest and deliver immediate management solutions to specialty-crop stakeholders and the public.
Read more about the grant at the Penn State News here.