UC Davis Environmental Horticulture IR-4 Center

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The Department of Environmental Horticulture at UC Davis has taken on the task of working with growers and the USDA Interregional Research Project #4 (IR-4), to develop data needed for registration of crop protection materials that are of interest to growers of specialty crops in the Western United States.

IR-4 is the only publicly funded program in the U.S. that conducts research and submits petitions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for registration of pest control agents on specialty crops. Specialty Environmental Horticulture crops include all those grown for ornamental purposes (nursery and landscape plants, cut flowers and potted plants).

The crop protection industry lacks incentive to pursue registrations on specialty crops for many materials because the low acreage involved means low return on investment. Recognizing this, the state land grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organized the Interregional Research Project #4 in 1963 to address the shortage of pest control options for minor crops.

Collaborations are the strength of the IR-4 program. Input is sought continually from the commodity production side of agriculture as well as from the crop protection industry, USDA and federal and state regulators.

The Environmental Horticulture Department at UC Davis has made a commitment to develop an IR-4 Center at the Department to focus on ornamental crops and on products that can be useful tools for growers of such crops in California. We have begun to set up experiments for projects that have already been identified jointly by manufactures, growers, and the IR-4 coordinators as desirable (and thus deemed "researchable"). In addition, we need input from you to help us identify experiments that we could begin this summer and fall, or at some time in the future.

Project Team:

Heiner Lieth: Director

Linda Dodge: Data collection, experimental set-up, and reporting

Ron Lane: Crop production and pesticide application