New Research Priorities Set for IR-4 Project

You are here:

IR-4 recently convened their biannual meeting to set priorities for research needs over the next two years.  Dubbed the ‘Week of Workshops,’ this year combined the food crops program with the Environmental Horticulture Program (Env Hort) for the first time in an effort to be more efficient for participants.  AmericanHort participated in the priority-setting process, in view of IR-4’s importance to our industry.  Priorities on both a national and regional level were set for Env Hort and are listed below.

National Priorities:

  • Plant Pathology
    • Control of Pythium
    • Control of non-Oomycete root and crown rots
  • Entomology
    • Control of borers and beetles
    • Control of mealybug and scale insects
  • Weed Science
    • Crop safety of preemergent products
    • Control of Nostoc on hard surfaces
  • Biopesticide
    • Control of powdery mildew on greenhouse potted plants
    • Control of root knot nematodes

Regional Priorities:

  • North Central
    • Control of ambrosia beetles
    • Control of root knot nematodes
  • Northeast
    • Improving directions for use with fatty acid herbicides
    • Control of outdoor thrips populations
  • Southern
    • Control of European pepper moth
    • Control of bacterial leaf spots and blights
  • Western
    • Control of liverwort
    • Control of Botrytis on peony

The IR-4 Project was established to facilitate regulatory approval of sustainable pest management technology for environmental horticulture crops to promote public health and well-being.  IR-4 meets this goal by facilitating national and regional research projects to develop efficacy and crop safety data so that new biological and chemical active ingredients can be registered and current products expanded for new uses and is administered by USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  A group of plant pathologists, entomologists, and weed scientists meet biannually to set research goals based on current needs. Input from stakeholders is welcome as well.

USDA NIFA just announced the renewal of IR-4 Project’s funding, in the amount of $11 million, to continue to generate additional data for registration of conventional and bio-based crop protection tools for specialty and minor crops in the U.S. Specialty crops served by IR-4 include fruits and vegetables, tree fruits, dried fruits, horticulture/floriculture and nursery crops.  A recent economic analysis conducted by Michigan State University estimates that “IR-4’s partnership with agriculture has contributed to 95,261 jobs with a total labor income of $5.6 billion, and annual contributions to the gross domestic product totaling $9.4 billion.”

Increased funding for the IR-4 Project was key focus at the recent AmericanHort Impact Washington Summit.  Additional funds would restore the IR-4 Project to full capacity, replace obsolete research equipment, and expand field trials.

Was this article helpful?
0 out Of 5 Stars
5 Stars 0%
4 Stars 0%
3 Stars 0%
2 Stars 0%
1 Stars 0%
How can we improve this article?

Recent Articles