Close to $45 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will fund more than 200 projects to strengthen plant heath initiatives.

The projects include more than $6 million for an expanded pest detection system in California and $3.3 million for a survey of pest pathways in the U.S. The funding was included in the 2008 farm bill.

More than 50 cooperators, including state departments of agriculture, nonprofit organizations, universities and USDA agencies, are conducting more than 200 projects, according to the agency’s news release.

“Projects funded as part of this effort will ensure that farmers and specialty crop growers remain a viable segment of our national agricultural landscape,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release.

More details about the spending plan will be available at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site once funding obligations are concluded.

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan is expected to announce some of the funding awards on Jan. 21 at the University of California-Davis.