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 (PCR) or the residue / efficacy / crop safety study?” Below is a general guide for submitting food crop PCRs.
What is an IR-4 PCR? A PCR is a form that is filled out 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 (residue and product 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, contact Jimmy Byrtus at email@example.com for residue requests, and Katharine Jaworski at firstname.lastname@example.org for integrated solutions or product performance requests.
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, a specific deadline is announced for new PCRs to be submitted in order to be included in the pre-workshop nomination process.