College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
AGNR Research

IR-4 Project

IR-4 Project logo

An Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4) center was established at the Salisbury Facility in the year 2000.

The mission of the IR-4 Project is to facilitate registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and minor uses.

Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been the primary resource in the United States for facilitating registration of conventional pesticides and biopesticides on specialty food crops (fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices) and non-food ornamental horticulture crops (greenhouse, nursery, landscape plants, and Christmas trees). IR-4 serves as an intermediary between the agrichemical industry and specialty crop growers. Due to the inherently small specialty crop market and cost prohibitive regulatory requirements, companies hy away from investing in the development of products for low acreage specialty crops.

The USDA recognized this gap between grower needs and industry market goals, and established IR-4 to bridge this specific gap and provide US growers with necessary pest management products. IR-4 accomplishes this by developing research data to support US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registrations. IR-4 also assists stakeholders by cooperating in registration of pest management tools for:

  • minor uses on major crops
  • invasive species
  • medically important arthropods
  • organic crop production

Additionally, IR-4 assists U.S. specialty crop growers to compete in international trade, by aiding in the harmonization of pesticide use and country-specific Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) that often differ between the US and its global trading partners. IR-4 remains active in global harmonization efforts of NAFTA, the Codex Committee of Pesticide Residues (CCPR) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Learn more about IR-4 by reading the brochure below or contact Mary Lee Ross, IR-4 Faculty Research Assistant, at or 410.742.1178 x310.

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