The brown marmorated stink bug has devastated crops in New Jersey and throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states.  Now, research is being conducted at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) at Rutgers University thanks to $2.7 million in federal funding announced by U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez.

(Flickr User Daveynin)

"Invasive pests are a threat to the agriculture industry in New Jersey and across the country and have the potential to wipe out entire crops and inflict serious economic damage.  Rutgers is a leader in the fight against invasive species and their work will protect our state's agriculture industry," said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds the grant program.  "I will continue working to provide funding for important research that protects the environment and strengthens our agriculture economy."

"As one of the major producers of fresh produce, New Jersey's economic growth and health depends on the prosperity of its agriculture sector.  Our farmers need access to the most effective techniques to eliminate invasive species that threaten their production level, as well as the quality of their products," said Menendez.  "With this funding, Rutgers will be able to research the best ways to guarantee New Jersey growers can continue delivering the fresh, first rate vegetable and fruits that distinguish the Garden State."

The researchers at Rutgers will use the $2,672,327 federal grant to develop organic methods of eliminating the brown marmorated stink bug.  An estimated $21 billion worth of crops are at risk where stink bugs have been detected.