$11 Million More for Pest Management Research

Chris Beytes

Good news for the industry: The Society of American Florists (SAF) reports that USDA Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins has announced the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has invested another $11 million in the Minor Crop Pest Management program (IR-4). The money will go toward developing safe, effective and efficient crop protection technology for minor uses.

“The IR-4 program has always been very important to horticultural crops and to those who grow them,” said Ball Hort’s Dr. Marvin Miller, GrowerTalks’ in-house hortistician and a long-time advocate for SAF. “We have counted on the IR-4 program to help provide the research needed to get pest controls registered so that they can be used on what many might consider minor crops. Over the years, this has helped add products to our arsenal that are safe to use on the specialty crops our industry produces.”

Four universities will lead the regional IR-4 programs to collect additional data for registration of conventional and bio-based crop protection technology. They are: Michigan State (North Central Region), University of Maryland (Northeast Region), UC-Davis (Western Region) and University of Florida (Southern Region). GT