The mission of the National Clean Plant Network for Fruit Trees is to provide growers and nurseries with virus-tested propagation material to diminish the impact of fruit tree viruses. New varieties of fruit trees are also tested for viruses and other diseases so they can safely be introduced into U.S. orchards. There are three NCPN-FT centers strategically place in regions where fruit production is most concentrated.
The Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in Biglerville is situated on 180 acres of fertile land in south-central Pennsylvania, in the heart of the major tree fruit production area of the state. In addition to providing site-specific conditions for research, the facility increases opportunities for growers, consultants, consumers, and students to observe experiments and to consult with scientists. Extension specialists apply experimental findings to local conditions, and, in turn, make suggestions to scientists about new research needs.
The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), through its Plant Pest and Disease Program, responds to many new introductions of plant pests to eradicate, suppress, or contain them through various programs in cooperation with state departments of agriculture and other government agencies. These may be emergency or longer term domestic programs that target a specific regulated pest. The Plant Pest and Disease Program ensures that new introductions of harmful plant pests and diseases are detected as soon as possible, before they have a chance to cause significant damage. APHIS also works with cooperators to import, screen, develop, release, implement, monitor, and transfer biological control technologies to prevent the establishment, slow the spread, and manage pests of significant economic, environmental or regulatory importance.