About Food Crops

picture of tomatoes

To facilitate regulatory approval of sustainable pest management technology for food crops to promote public health and wellbeing.

Research Activities

Since 1963, IR-4 stakeholders have submitted thousands of requests for assistance.

How do I Request Assistance?

What Happens Next?

  • Attend the Food Use Workshop to make others aware of your need and garner support.
  • Trial samples are then sent to Analytical Laboratories at SAES or USDA-ARS Facilities and if necessary contract labs are assigned samples
  • The labs determine the amounts of chemical remaining in or on the crop
  • IR-4 QAU and EPA inspections and audits are conducted throughout the study
  • This data is then compiled into a regulatory package and submitted to the EPA requesting establishment of new tolerances (Maximum Residue Limits or MRLs).

Behind the Scenes

  • IR-4 personnel hold many meetings with registrants to determine their level of support of an IR-4 submission.
  • IR-4 personnel meet with the EPA to determine the “red, yellow, green” chance for a tolerance to be granted on the particular chemical/s

Crop Grouping & Global Harmonization Activities

What’s Crop Grouping and Why is it Important?

  • Crop grouping enables the establishment of residue tolerances for a group of crops based on residue data from a representative crop/s within that group or subgroup.
  • Saves time and money
  • Crop grouping supports international competitiveness of US specialty crop producers by using IR-4 data and resources to harmonize US pesticide tolerances with international MRLs to eliminate pesticides as regulatory barriers to international trade

Integrated Solutions

The new Integrated Solutions program was initiated at the 2018 Workshop.This program expects to better service the needs of the IR-4 stakeholders by integrating products. It will take advantage of the considerable increase in development of efficacious biopesticides that are increasingly playing a more significant role in both conventional and organic agricultural production systems.

This program will:
1. Focus on Integrated Solutions research to screen conventional products and biopesticides singularly
and/or in rotation to fill a pest management voids;
2. Provide a greater focus on ways to manage pest resistance in conventional systems;
3. Look at the use of biopesticides and/or short-residual low risk products near harvest to reduce residue levels to assist specialty crops for export markets (residue mitigation), and reduce dietary exposure;
4. Maintain priorities to address needs for organic production systems.
5. Provide support for organic production programs.

The 2019 research program will be a transition year with 5 research priorities for the Integrated Solutions program and 6 research priorities for the Biopesticide and Organic Support Program.