LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters visited the Michigan State University Horticultural and Research Center on Friday to highlight the SWAT Act.

The SWAT Act, which Peters hopes to get included in the 2023 farm bill, would help the spread of the spotted wing drosophila, an invasive fly species.

The spotted wing drosophila continues to hurt growers in Michigan and across the country, by laying eggs in soft-skinned fruit crops like cherries and blueberries.

Damaged crops affected by the fly are unable to be sold.

MSU’s Horticultural Teaching and Research Center plays a leading role in advancing national research and developing effective pest management strategies for the spotted wing drosophila.

“You have a major pest that has to be dealt with, and the leading institution in the country is right here in Michigan; right here in East Lansing at Michigan State University. That’s why it’s important for us to continue to support this effort,” Peters said. “This federal money will go to a variety of places around the country. Given the fact MSU is a leader, we should get a very good share of that money, which will help accelerate research and help protect Michigan farmers.”