IR-4 Program Information

What is IR-4?

Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4 Project). IR-4 is the "minor use pesticides" program. It is a federal cooperative program established in 1963 to help the producers of minor crops obtain clearances for pest control materials on minor crops. The purpose of IR-4 is to work with farmers, agriculture scientists and Extension personnel to carry out research and petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to obtain tolerances for specific pesticide uses needed by minor crop producers.

IR-4 is the principal public effort to gain EPA-approved tolerances for safe and effective pest control products on specialty food crops such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and others. IR-4 also develops data to assist in the registration of pest control tools for floral, forestry, nursery and turf crops. With funding and support from USDA (both CSREES and ARS), and State Agricultural Experiment Stations, IR-4 coordinates a grass roots effort to provide pest control product alternatives compatible with minor crop integrated pest management programs.

IR-4 carries out the research needed for the registration or "clearance" of pest control materials on minor crops. IR-4 prepares and submits petitions to the EPA requesting tolerances or exemptions for pest control products on minor crops. The Program is closely coordinated from a Headquarters located at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in New Brunswick, NJ. The agrichemical industry, crop producers and the EPA all participate in the program.

The IR-4 Liaison Representative for Oklahoma  is Charles Luper in the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department. Supporting participants at Oklahoma State University include Drs. John Damicone, Plant Pathologist, Lynn Brandenburger, Horticulturist and Weed Specialist, and Jonathon Edelson, Entomologist. 


Links to important IR-4 related web sites:


  • Regional web sites
    • Southern Region Pesticide Coordinators - This site provides links to the Extension pesticide program sites (PAT & Pesticide education, NAPIAP, IR-4) and state pesticide regulatory agencies for USDA Southern Region states (includes EPA Region 4 and part of EPA Regions 3, 6). This page also links to associated EPA and USDA web sites. This site is maintained by the Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs for the Region.

  • National web sites
    • Interregional Project 4 (IR-4) web site - This is the National Program site located at Rutgers University.
    • New Approaches to Minor Uses - EPA. Information on the Agency's minor use activities and partnerships with other agencies. From this site you can get a copy of EPA's Report on Minor Use Pesticides.
    • Fedstats - The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this site to provide easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by more than 70 agencies in the United States federal government. Produced are statistics of interest to the public, for public use. Has links to other statistics sites.
    • NASS - USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
    • National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy - Articles by Leonard P. Gianessi
    • Food and Feed Commodity Vocabulary - The Food and Feed Commodity Vocabulary was developed to consolidate all the major Office of Pesticide Program Commodity Vocabularies into one standardized vocabulary. There are about 12,000 lookup or search terms in this database. Each lookup term is assigned an EPA preferred term, an EPA (40 CFR 180.41) crop group name/number, and a monograph number where further information about a specific commodity can be found. About 1500 preferred commodity terms were developed. The preferred term will be the only term accepted in establishing pesticide tolerances. The Food and Feed Commodity Vocabulary contains only human consumable commodities and livestock feeds.

  • Food Quality Protection Act - (FQPA)



Charles Luper
Oklahoma State University
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
127 NRC
Stillwater, OK 74078
Office: (405) 744-5808
Fax: (405) 744-6039
Michelle Samuel-Foo, Ph.D.
Southern Region Feild Coordinator
University of Florida
Food and Environmental Toxicology Laboratory
PO Box 110720
Gainsville, FL 32611-0720
Office: (352) 392-1978, ext 406
Fax: (352) 392-1988


Document Actions