Welcome to the North Central Region IR-4 Project
The IR-4 Project has a 60-year track record of impact facilitating pest management solutions for specialty crops and specialty uses. According to a 2022 economic analysis, IR-4 contributes an estimated $8.97 billion to the annual U.S. GDP. Seven jobs can be attributed to every $1000 of public investment in IR-4.* Additionally, IR-4 research has secured over 23,000 pest product registrations for food crops through EPA, and countless others for ornamental crops.
By facilitating EPA registration of safe, effective pest management products and technologies, IR-4 helps specialty crop growers access the tools they need to produce healthy, abundant harvests—including fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and horticulture crops.
IR-4’s federally-funded research evaluates various pest management strategies—including reduced-risk chemical products, bio-based pesticides, emerging technologies, and integrated solutions to serve both conventional and organic production systems.
IR-4’s North Central Region (NCR), based at Michigan State University, is one of four regional offices. With its temperate climate, ample water resources, well-established processing facilities, and proximity to major markets, this region excels in the diversity of specialty crops produced.
The NCR team works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and prioritize pest issues, and secure tools to help midwestern agriculture thrive.
The IR-4 North Central Region Includes:
North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas,
Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio
Key Crops of the North Central Region:
Apples, asparagus, beans, beets, blueberries, celery, tart cherries,
cranberries, pickling cucumbers, ginseng, hemp, hops, mint,
onions, peas, potatoes, ornamentals and more.
IR-4 Project Programs:
Our work is centered around the following two core programs:
The Food Crop Program facilitates the regulatory approval of safe pest management solutions for specialty crop growers. This work is necessary as insects, diseases, weeds, invasive species, and resistance to existing tools continue to increase. Thanks to the efforts of the Food Crop Program, growers have more tools for safely and effectively managing pests on fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and other specialty crops.
The IR-4 Project’s Environmental Horticulture (EHC) Program facilitates regulatory approval of sustainable pest management products for environmental horticulture crops. EHC research helps green industry growers foster a diverse selection of healthy plants for landscapes, homes, bouquets and urban forests — a service to the environment, to the economy, and to public wellbeing.
View the results of the 2023 Biennial Priority Setting Workshop.
The IR-4 Project Celebrates 60 Years
From our headquarters (HQ) at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina and regional offices, to partnering land grant universities and USDA Agricultural Research Service stations, IR-4’s multifaceted team serves the specialty crop community nationwide. Collaborative relationships with USDA, EPA, growers, commodity groups, state liaisons, and industry leaders position IR-4 to guide the specialty crop community towards improved pest management solutions— as we have for 60 years.
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Read about Michigan State University’s 2022 economic analysis here.