Photo: Kim Heath

Apr 12, 2018
Efforts to boost IR-4 project funding to include grower input

Specialty crop growers nationwide are being asked to contact their Congressional representatives in support of  additional funding for a program established by Congress in 1963 within USDA.

The IR-4 Project provides research and technical assistance to support minor/specialty crop industry in gaining Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of safe and effective biological and chemical pesticides needed by farmers to grow their crops. More recently, the IR-4 Project’s mission has expanded to include pest management products for organic agriculture.

The program is the subject of a letter in support of the project from U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, directed to leaders of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. The letter will be distributed to the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 26

“As you develop the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we respectfully request an increase in funding for the Minor Crop Pest Management Interregional Research Project, also known as the IR-4 Program,” Menendez wrote. “The IR-4 Project has been supported by the Appropriations Committee in the past and is currently funded at $11.9 million annually.  We are requesting an increase in funding to $19 million for FY19, which would provide a much needed funding boost that would support specialty crop farmers nationwide.”

To access the full letter from Menendez, visit 20180426 FY19 IR-4 Approps Letter





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