Oct. 10, 2017
Participants at the 2017 IR-4 Food Use Workshop identified the most important research projects for the 2018 IR-4 food-use research program.
The IR-4 Project (Interregional Research Project No.4) has been facilitating registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and minor uses. Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been the major resource for supplying pest management tools for specialty crop growers by developing research data to support new EPA tolerances and labeled product uses. Specialty crop research needs are prioritized each year during a national workshop since resources are limited, according to IR-4.
Research priority A’s for the year 2018 field program for fruits, vegetables, nuts, field and oil crops, herbs and other miscellaneous crops in the United States and Canada were selected at the Food Use Workshop September 20–21, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.
About 130 people attended the two-day meeting: specialty crop researchers, extension specialists, representatives of commodity and industry groups across the country and personnel from EPA, USDA, IR-4 plus the AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that conducts Canadian counterpart of minor use program), and PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency, i.e., Canadian counterpart of U.S. EPA). For Michigan’s fruit and vegetable interest, the workshop was attended by MSU’s Bernard Zandstra, Satoru Miyazaki, John Wise, Mary Hausbeck and Lynnae Jess. Representing Michigan grower’s group was Dave Trinka (blueberry).
The prioritization process focused on the most critical pest management needs from all disciplines for each commodity. Participants were provided with a list of 162 pesticides “nominated” with desired priority of A prior to the food-use workshop. As a group, they ranked products based on availability and efficacy of alternative pest management tools (including ongoing projects for the same need and resistance management), damage potential of target pests, performance and crop safety of the chemical in managing the target pests, compatibility of the proposed chemical candidate with Integrated Pest Management, uses currently covered by Section 18 emergency exemptions, and harmonization implications due to lack of international MRLs (Maximum Residue Limits).
Based on projected budget appropriations for IR-4 in 2018, only 42 A priority projects throughout the disciplines were selected by consensus. Eighty-four projects were downgraded to “B” priority. An “A” priority guarantees IR-4 to begin the field residue program during the following season and complete it within 30 months. The timeline will be shortened when IR-4 joins the company’s petition submission schedule with the expectation that a complete data package be submitted to the EPA in 16-24 months.
In addition to the above projects that require pesticide residue analysis under GLP, eight “H+” (high priority plus) efficacy/crop safety projects were selected because potential registrants want to see the data first before IR-4 conducts full residue studies, or IR-4 needs to screen pest control products for new pests, the PPWS (pest problems without solution) projects.
Twenty-six A priority projects important for Michigan were selected. In addition, five candidate H+ projects for Michigan growers were identified (see Table 2.) Any “B” priority projects must be upgraded to A priority either by an Priority Upgrade Proposal (PUP) with good justification or by regional upgrade, i.e., the crops or the pests are limited to a particular region. At present, IR-4 may consider 10 upgrades should the budgetary situation become more favorable.
The following new candidate priority “A” projects listed are preliminary until affirmed at the IR-4 national research planning meeting Nov. 1-2, 2017. A complete listing can be found on the IR-4 website