The What/Why/Who/When /Where/How of Submitting an IR-4 Project Clearance Request (PCR)

Authors: Kathryn Homa, Van Starner, Michael Braverman, Dan Kunkel, Cristi Palmer

The age-old question: “which came first: the chicken or the egg?” is a commonly disputed question. At the IR-4 Project, a similar question arises each year for the Food Crop Program: “which comes first, the IR-4 Project Clearance Request or the residue / efficacy / crop safety study?”. Below, the IR-4 Project is providing a general description of “What/Why/Who/When/Where/How” for submitting food crop Project Clearance Requests (PCRs) just in time for the IR-4 Week of Workshops September 23 – 26, 2019.

What is an IR-4 PCR? An IR-4 Project Clearance Request is a form that is filled out online (links for specific programs are provided below) by an individual who wants to use a particular product to help resolve a specific crop/pest issue. For example, if a specialty crop grower has an issue with root knot nematodes in his/her crop and they have knowledge of a specific pesticide that can control the nematode, they can submit an IR-4 PCR. Information requested on the form slightly differs depending on the crop and research need (food residue & performance, integrated solutions, environmental horticulture – see related article), but generally consists of:

1. The name, affiliation, address and contact information of the requester
2. The pesticide requested to control the pest, including if you have spoken to a registrant about the pesticide need
3. Information regarding the requested crop (only submit one per request and include parts consumed, animal feed by-products, acreage…etc.)
4. Export considerations (key export markets)
5. Target pest to be controlled
6. Why the use is needed
7. Compatibility with Integrated Pest Management
8. Proposed use rate / use pattern (number of applications, re-treatment interval, pre-harvest Interval)

The information that an individual submits on the form is entered into the IR-4 Food Crop database and an email notification is sent to the requestor and appropriate IR-4 personnel. If you submit incomplete information, IR-4 will contact you for updates. If you need to modify your request, you can contact Susan Bierbrunner,

Why submit an IR-4 PCR? By submitting an IR-4 PCR, the individual has an opportunity to identify a crop/pest/chemical combination need. The PCR is then submitted to the registrant for comment. The registrant can either support the request by allowing IR-4 to conduct a residue study and/or efficacy/crop safety study or the registrant can confirm that they are conducting the work themselves or they do not support the request at this time. If the registrant approves the PCR, it can then be nominated as a project at the IR-4 Week of Workshops in September (if received by the deadline indicated below).

Who can submit an IR-4 PCR? Any individual can submit an IR-4 PCR except for an individual employed by a registrant. This means that any agricultural researcher, extension personnel, government employee, extension, grower or member of a commodity group can submit a PCR if they need IR-4 to help register a specific pest management tool to manage a pest, pathogen or weed on a particular crop. It is very beneficial (but not necessary) to submit any efficacy/crop safety data along with the PCR to support the request.

When should you submit an IR-4 PCR? Each year, there is a specific date when new PCRs will be accepted for inclusion in the pre-workshop nomination process. For both Food Residue and Integrated Solutions, the deadline this year is Tuesday August 27, 2019. Any new PCRs received by IR-4 starting August 28, 2019 will not be available for nomination for the 2019 IR-4 Food Use Workshop.

Where / How do you submit an IR-4 PCR? There are separate links for IR-4 PCRs depending on an individual’s need:

Food Crops Residue & Performance
Food Crops Integrated Solutions

For more information, please contact the individuals listed below:

Food Crops: Dr. Van Starner,
Food Integrated Solutions: Dr. Dan Kunkel,


Week of Workshops Information: The IR-4 Week of Workshops will take place at Delta Hotels by Marriott Baltimore Hunt Valley from September 23 – 26, 2019.

September 23: General Session at 1:00 pm, followed by brief food crop industry presentations on pest management technologies.
September 24: Food Use Residue & Performance Priority Setting 8:00am – 5:00pm
September 25: Food Use Integrated Solutions Priority Setting 9/25, 8:00am – noon; IR-4 Strategic Planning Session: 9/25, 1:15 – 5:00 pm
September 26: Environmental Horticulture Priority Setting: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
*Registration for the hotel at the IR-4 room rate of $102 is August 22, 2019