IR-4 Program

About the IR-4 Program

The Interregional Research Project No. 4, commonly known as IR-4, is a federally funded program that helps growers of ornamental horticulture crops find safe and effective pest management tools. The IR-4 Program is a unique partnership between the USDA and land grant universities, such as OSU. 

How it Works

The IR-4 Program at NWREC conducts efficacy and crop safety trials on ornamental and specialty crops that are important to Oregon growers. (See ornamental and specialty crop program info below). The main focus of the IR-4 Program is to generate crop safety information and add new crops to pesticide labels (any pest control product, be it conventional, biological or organic, must be registered and labeled). 

The success of our program depends on input from Oregon ornamental and specialty crop industries. We then relay that input concerning pest management issues to the national IR-4 Progam and advocate for projects to help solve those issues. 

How to Provide Input 

The best way to let us know about your pest management needs is to contact us directly.  A more formal way to register needs is by participating in the National IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program Survey, which can be found online.  In addition, IR-4 also hosts an annual workshop where university personnel, crop consultants, agrochemical company representatives and growers meet to discuss proposed projects and prioritize them for funding for the following year.

Contact Us

Ornamental Horticulture Program

The IR-4 Project’s Ornamental Horticulture Program helps provide safe and effective pest management solutions for greenhouse, nursery, landscape, Christmas tree and forestry producers. We work with growers, researchers, registrants and regulatory agencies to facilitate new product registrations. We also work to place new diseases, insects, and weeds as well as new crops on already registered ornamental horticulture product labels. Every other year, we prioritize the next two-year research plan at our Ornamental Horticulture Workshop. We invite you to help us focus our research prioritization by answering a few questions about the diseases, insects, and weeds which impact your business.

Program Contacts

Lloyd Nackley, Nursery Researcher



Specialty Crops Registration Program

The Specialty Crops Registration Program, located at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, is part of a network of field research centers throughout the USA that cooperate with the national IR-4 Program, conducting field research trials and laboratory analyses to determine safe levels of pesticides in agricultural food crops, and is the only such center in Oregon. In any given year, we conduct 25 and 35 field residue trials in a wide variety of fruit, vegetable and herb crops, that eventually lead to the establishment of a pesticide registration.  About 80% of the field research in the Specialty Crops Registration Program involves reduced-risk products, IPM-compatible alternatives, and biologically-based products. The main goal of the Program is to provide Oregon growers with the pest control options they need in order to effectively manage crop pests, ensure a stable and safe food supply, and maintain a healthy environment, while ensuring the success and profitability of Oregon farmers.

We also research pesticide performance for specific crops and provide pesticide registration.

Focus Areas