Lawmakers Looking to Secure $16M from USDA to Help Local Farmers Combat Spotted Lanternfly

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Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are working together to secure $16 million from the USDA to help local farmers combat the spotted lanternfly.
Statewide reports of the invasive spotted lanternfly increased by 147 percent from January 1 to July 31, according to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Image via Reddit.

Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are working together to secure $16 million from the USDA to help local farmers combat the spotted lanternfly, writes Basil John for the KARK.com.

“It threatens our crops, it threatens our agricultural tourism industry and so it is estimated that the impact on just Pennsylvania’s economy could be as much as 18 billion dollars,” said Democrat Chrissy Houlahan who represents Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district.

She is being joined in the effort to protect farmers and their crops by Republican Glenn Thompson, who represents the state’s 15th congressional district.

The farmers are currently in an especially precarious position because, in addition to spotted lanternfly, they have to deal with the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Two very very destructive and very very concerning bugs in our community at the same time,” said Houlahan.

Both lawmakers emphasized that it would take more than the $16 million they are trying to secure to solve the problem.

However this would represent a good start in helping combat the invasive insect. The funds would get used to finance research efforts on finding ways to control and eradicate the species.

Read more about the spotted lanternfly at the KARK.com by clicking here.

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