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.
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