KENNETT SQUARE, PA — State Rep. Christina Sappey this week announced the approval of state funding for Stroud Water Research Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Pennsylvania State University, all of which are partners in the 158th Legislative District.
This new funding will have a big local impact on:
- Affordable agriculture labor housing.
- Preparing a skilled, future-forward agriculture workforce.
- Stroud’s research on benefit of agriculture restoration practices.
- Phorid fly research funding.
- Safely controlling Spotted Lanternfly.
- Pollination in fruit orchards.
“As a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, we have worked on numerous issues facing our farmers in PA over the last several years, so I am thrilled to see this funding for our agriculture industry,” said Sappey, D-Chester. “It’s our No. 1 industry and it’s important to fund programs and research that help us make farming safer, more sustainable and to innovate and improve the way we operate.”
Penn State University was awarded $126,718 to expand the use of new integrated pest management to control phorid flies in mushroom production.
“The 158th Legislative District in southern Chester County includes most of our mushroom industry. The impact of phorid flies on residents and mushroom growers cannot be overstated.
“Last year, I advocated, along with several colleagues, to acquire over $108,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for phorid fly research, so I am very excited to see this investment of over $126,000 this year.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have the talented team from Penn State working tirelessly on the biology and behavior of phorid flies. They have been efficient with the dollars provided to them, squeezing everything possible out of each cent. It is encouraging to see their processes implemented in local farms, and ultimately having a positive impact for mushroom growers and residents.”
Penn State University was also awarded the following funds which will benefit farms and agricultural industries in the 158th:
- $66,775 to explore the effectiveness of a tiny parasitic wasp species as a natural enemy of spotted wing drosophila, an insect that destroys berries and grapes.
- $64,000 to mitigate spotted lanternfly damage through biological control with endemic insect predators.
- $63,892 for applied research on the impact of vitamin supplements in pregnant sows on piglet health.
- $53,298 to determine the impact of insect pests on hemp crops.
- $43,101 to assess the shortage of affordable housing and the extent of its impact on agricultural labor.
- $40,754 to assess the effect of feed additives poultry health and productivity.
- $31,413 to establish the best crop management methods to encourage mason bee pollination in fruit orchards.
- $26,245 to investigate Cache Valley Virus and the frequency of related abortions in sheep and goats.
- $20,000 to trace viral infections in sheep and goats through complex nucleotide sequences.
- $19,146 to develop an airway tissue model for isolating and evaluating bovine viruses.
- $18,249 to develop methods of detection and diagnosis of complex bacterial respiratory pathogens in poultry.
- $14,754 to assess whether anti-inflammatory treatment prior to birth improves colostrum quality and calf health.
Stroud Water Research Center, located in Avondale, was awarded $85,000 to help measure the impact of agricultural restoration practices on water quality in Lancaster County streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
PennVet was awarded the following:
- $65,001 to refine methods of detecting chronic wasting disease by odor in deer feces.
- $57,500 to develop methods of measuring and predicting methane emissions from dairy cows.
- $31,114 to study the effect of dietary zinc supplements on the health of dairy cows and calves.
- $23,406 to develop a method to measure per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in bovine serum and milk.
More information on grant funding to support Pennsylvania agriculture can be found at agriculture.pa.gov/funding.
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