Joe DeFrancesco, Research Faculty—Specialty Crop Registrations
Judy Kowalski, Bio Science Research Technician 3—Nursery, Christmas Trees, and Specialty Crop Registrations
The Interregional Research Project No. 4, commonly known as IR-4, is a federally funded program that assists growers of ornamental horticulture crops to obtain safe and effective pest management tools. The IR-4 Program is a unique partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture and land grant universities, such as Oregon State University.
The North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) near Aurora, OR, is one of eight terrestrial agricultural experiment stations operated by OSU; the research and extension focus at NWREC includes ornamentals, berries and vegetables. The IR-4 Ornamentals Program, in cooperation with the national IR-4 Program, conducts efficacy and crop safety trials on ornamental crops that are important to Oregon growers. The main focus of the IR-4 Ornamentals Program at NWREC has been generating crop safety information and adding new crops to pesticide labels (any pest control product, be it conventional, biological or organic, must be registered and labeled.)
In the past few years, we have conducted trials to determine crop safety for several herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Many varied crops includiing bedding plants, common northwest landscape plants and conifers were tested in these trials.
The success of our program is dependent on the input the Oregon ornamentals industry provides us. It is important for our program to be aware of the pest management issues and needs that are important so we can relay those needs to national IR-4 and get such projects onto the IR-4 docket. IR-4 has limited time, money and personnel to conduct all the studies that are needed for ornamental crops throughout the USA; advocating for projects that are critical helps those needs get met.
One way to let your needs be know is to contact us directly. A more formal way to register needs is by participating in the National IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program Survey, which can be found online. In addition, IR-4 also hosts an annual workshop where university personnel, crop consultants, agrochemical company representatives and growers meet to discuss proposed projects and prioritize them for funding for the following year.
Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
Director, IR-4 Field Research Center
For more information, or to see trial results, visit the IR-4 Project site at Rutgers University.