Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been the primary entity in the United States to facilitate registrations of conventional pesticides and biopesticides on specialty food crops and non-food environmental horticulture crops.
Michigan exports close to $2 billion in food and agricultural products, and acceptable pesticide residue limits are not consistent across the globe. This results in trade barriers for Michigan-grown specialty crops.
Since 1963, the IR-4 Project (IR-4) has been the primary entity in the United States to facilitate registrations of conventional pesticides and biopesticides on specialty food crops (fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices) and non-food environmental horticulture crops. MSU has been a part of IR-4 since 1963.
IR-4 is recognized by the international community as the model program to help specialty crop growers obtain legal access to safe and effective pest management technology. IR-4 personnel, in association with UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have sponsored three Global Minor Use Summits. IR-4 has consulted with the governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, New Zealand, South Korea, and Taiwan in finding solutions for the Minor Use Problem. Additionally IR-4 has been the principal educator in World Bank-funded capacity building projects in the ASEAN region, Sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin/South America.
IR-4, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and MSU scientists and economists teamed up to develop an online tool to aid Michigan apple and tart cherry growers in selecting materials to manage key pests and diseases with a particular market in mind.