2013 IR-4 Project Funding Threatened

March 20, 2012 - 12:39

Funding for the IR-4 Project may fall victim to the budget ax in 2013 if the proposed budget is approved for the next fiscal year.

Funding for the IR-4 Project may fall victim to the budget ax in 2013 if the proposed budget is approved for the next fiscal year.

Congress needs to hear from our industry that it must preserve the program that brings us most of our legal options for controlling plant pests.  

The IR-4 Project was established by Congress in 1963 to assist domestic growers of fruits, vegetables, herbs, nursery and greenhouse plants, and other specialty crops by facilitating through US EPA the registration of safe and effective technologies to protect these high value crops from insects, plant diseases, weeds and other pests. 

IR-4 research has supported the registration and legal use of over half the crop protection tools now labeled for nursery and greenhouse use! Many of these tools and technologies –traditional chemicals, biopesticides, and other reduced risk materials – have also been successfully labeled for use in managed landscapes.

In the current federal budget, Congress provided dedicated funding for the IR-4 Project. However, President Obama’s 2013 budget plan eliminates dedicated funding for Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4) and proposes to consolidate IR-4 Project funds with funds for other unrelated pest management programs into a single new line item called Crop Protection. 

The American Nursery & Landscape Association, OFA and other organizations representing specialty crop producers believe the budget consolidation jeopardizes IR-4. Now, more than ever, adequate funding for the IR-4 Project is absolutely necessary to ensure registration of pest management tools for nursery and greenhouse uses. 

Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative in the House immediately to ask that the IR-4 Project be maintained as a separate budget line item in the USDA budget.

For more information, you may visit Save IR-4 at www.SaveIR-4.org.

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