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Derrek Sigler, Assistant Editor
Interactive Buyers' Guide
Michigan State University will close its Muck Soils Research Farm in Laingsburg and is weighing the fate of at least one more of its...
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Growers of fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, ornamentals and other specialty crops rely on the services of a government funded...
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The warm weather forecast for this week and next, with highs forecast in the 70s and lows near 50, means that fruit trees....
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FGN Gear at Cafe Press
IR-4 is in danger of losing funding
By Derrek Sigler

The IR-4 Project was established by Congress in 1963 to assist U.S. fruit, vegetable and other specialty crop growers by facilitating the registration of technologies to protect crops from insects, plant diseases, weeds and other pests. IR-4 is now in danger, however. Its funding has been cut from the 2013 USDA budget, said Sherrilynn Novak, communications director, IR-4 Project.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has proposed that the majority of funds it provides the IR-4 Project be moved into a new program that focuses on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research, outreach and teaching. The IR-4 mission, facilitating registration of crop protection chemicals and biopesticides for food and non-food crops, is not part of the new program, Novak said in a press release.

The press release serves as a call for support of the IR-4 Project. It asks stakeholders to contact their congressional representatives and request that they maintain Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4) under NIFA Research and Education Activities in the FY 2013 Appropriation Bill for Agriculture. The deadline is close of business on March 20, Novak said.

For more information, click here.

Flood damage
Flood Damage

Photo by Richard Ball

Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast last fall. Many growers were spared, but not all. On Aug. 28, Irene hit New York state's Schoharie Valley, about 40 miles southwest of Albany, the state capital. Floodwaters covered 43,000 acres of farm land in the valley. Recovering from the physical and financial damage will take years, said Schoharie Valley farmer Richard Ball. Look for more in the April issue of FGN.

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