Impending Elimination Of IR-4 Threatens Floriculture Products

Steve Larson BASF Head Shot

GG: What impact would the elimination of IR-4 have on chemical companies like BASF? Would it affect chemical companies’ ability to best serve floriculture?

SL: The IR-4 program allows BASF to offer effective plant protection chemistries to so called ‘minor crop’ users. That means nursery, greenhouse and landscape managers have a wider arsenal of products to use for pest management. IR-4 funds expand the testing of our chemistries to other crops, on more pests and in additional markets. For BASF, that means we have more products to offer growers. Without the IR-4 program, we probably could not afford the extensive testing required to effectively bring all the products in our portfolio to market.

GG: Would you envision chemical companies having to take on the responsibility of conducting the floriculture research that leads to product registrations themselves?

SL: BASF could take on the task of testing, but doing so would result in significant delays in getting our best products into the hands of growers. The products would most likely cost growers more. Ultimately, the expense of doing in-house testing would be significant, and it would probably result in fewer tools made available to growers.

GG: How much floriculture-specific research does BASF do on its own? How much does BASF lean on other entities like IR-4?

SL: I do not know the exact percentage, but we rely heavily on IR-4 to accelerate our efforts to get new, effective products to market. Most initial new product testing is done in house at BASF or through contract research. Once we recognize a product’s potential for use in ornamentals, we expand our testing across the United States using IR-4 researchers. This allows BASF to look at product performance across a wide range of growing conditions and helps BASF write the best label for growers.

GG: How have vanishing dollars at the university level affected chemical companies’ ability to serve the floriculture market?

SL: No question that the disappearance of university-applied research has affected product development for growers. BASF continues to aggressively develop new products for growers. We now rely on in-house development and use external sources—such as IR-4—as needed. Keep in mind that not all products are accepted into the IR-4 program; they have budget limitations on the amount of products they can test.

GG: With fewer federal dollars supporting research that leads to product registrations, do you envision greenhouse growers focusing on key crops since minor floriculture crops would likely be most affected?

SL: BASF will continue to innovate and develop new products for growers. To your point though, fewer federal dollars—such such as limiting IR-4—impact the speed at which new products can be added to our labels and slow down the timing of certain state registrations.

GG: What should growers keep in mind about IR-4 and the program’s role in the industry?

SL: I am a strong supporter of the IR-4 program. In my 34-plus years in the ornamentals industry, I’ve seen firsthand the specific benefits of this program. BASF takes an active role in the IR-4 meetings, and we see the positive impact it has for growers. Many effective and safe products are available to growers today; those products did not come to market by accident. Growers and distributors need to understand that the discovery and development process for new products is very expensive. Growers enjoy effective products that are legally registered for a wide range of crops and pests, and those products are the result of extensive product testing. The IR-4 program is an important part of that development process. I dare say, it is a government program the really works.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Impending Elimination Of IR-4 Threatens Floriculture Products

  1. We should be ivesting in BCA prgrams instead of chemicals. Lets get the cost of biological controls down rather than make the price of useless chemicals go up.

More From Insect Control...
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More

October 25, 2016

Why Logic May Be The Best Defense Against Q-Biotype Whitefly

Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff says while you may feel you're in a lose-lose situation with pest control, there are some solutions that can help.

Read More
Downy mildew lesions on light coleus cultivars feature

October 4, 2016

Crop Protection Manufacturers Detail 2017 Early Order Discounts

Greenhouse Grower asked crop protection product manufacturers to send us the details for their 2017 Early Order Discount Programs and ongoing rebate programs, to provide you with a compiled knowledge resource of all discount offers at a time when you're making decisions for 2017.

Read More
Latest Stories
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More

October 25, 2016

Why Logic May Be The Best Defense Against Q-Biotype Whi…

Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff says while you may feel you're in a lose-lose situation with pest control, there are some solutions that can help.

Read More
Downy mildew lesions on light coleus cultivars feature

October 4, 2016

Crop Protection Manufacturers Detail 2017 Early Order D…

Greenhouse Grower asked crop protection product manufacturers to send us the details for their 2017 Early Order Discount Programs and ongoing rebate programs, to provide you with a compiled knowledge resource of all discount offers at a time when you're making decisions for 2017.

Read More

September 28, 2016

Floriculture Industry Working To Solve The Whitefly Pro…

This summer, the floriculture industry has been faced with a dangerous new development — the detection of the Q-Biotype whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in outdoor landscapes. It’s the first time that the Q-Biotype has been found in the U.S., outside of a greenhouse or wholesale nursery, since the pest was first detected on an ornamental plant in an Arizona greenhouse in December 2004. This year in Florida, there have been 47 detections of the Q since April, in retail nurseries and residential landscapes in 10 counties in Florida, from Miami-Dade to Duval County, primarily on hibiscus. Other hosts involved are crossandra, eggplant transplants, lantana, ficus, and porter weed. The detections have been in 17 retail nurseries, eight wholesale nurseries, 10 residential landscapes, and two agricultural fields. Other states have reported Q-Biotype detections this year, as well. The discovery of Q-Biotype whitefly in the landscape is troubling for the entire ornamentals industry, […]

Read More
Chrysanthemum Aphid

August 22, 2016

How To ID And Manage Black Aphids In Chrysanthemums

Growers in Michigan have recently been reporting a higher presence of this pest. Here are some tips on how to control it.

Read More
Greenhouse Whitefly

August 18, 2016

Vestaron Planning For More Research And Development Of …

On the heels of launching Spear-T, its first bioinsecticide, Vestaron has received additional financing that will be used to develop new products with new modes of action.

Read More
BioWorks Mycotrol

August 17, 2016

New Organic Mycoinsecticide From BioWorks Now Registere…

BioWorks’ Mycotrol can be used to manage whitefly, thrips, aphids, and other insects in greenhouses and nurseries.

Read More
Poinsettia, Heavy Whitefly Infestation -Lower Leaves, Insect - Feature

August 3, 2016

Tips For Successful Late-Season Whitefly Control

Managing late-season whiteflies successfully on poinsettia requires preventative measures put in to action early in the production cycle.

Read More
Aphids On Older Leaves

July 25, 2016

How You Can Stop Aphids By Understanding Their Interact…

Knowing which aphids target which crops and how aphids colonize and move on plants goes a long way toward setting up an effective management plan.

Read More
Eretmocerus eremicus adult, Parasitic Wasp

July 2, 2016

Beneficial Predators Can Help Control Whiteflies On Poi…

Whitefly infestations are a recurring problem that often plagues poinsettia growers. Successfully keep them in check by letting beneficial predators take the work out of pest control.

Read More
Greenhouse Whitefly

June 26, 2016

Michigan State University Offers Tips On Whitefly Manag…

Whiteflies are making headlines in Florida, but they are found across the U.S. Michigan State experts say it’s important to know how to manage each type of whitefly.

Read More
Whitefly

June 2, 2016

Breaking News: Florida Growers Reporting Major Whitefly…

Reports have come from the Florida Keys to Palm Beach County that whitefly populations in landscapes are reaching unprecedented levels and are not responding to pesticide applications. Biotype-Q has been found in four different communities. University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Science researchers are working with USDA-APHIS, USDA-ARS, the Florida Department of Agriculture, and growers and landscape professionals to manage the developing problem.

Read More
Two-spotted spider mites, adults and eggs

May 11, 2016

SePRO Launches Summer Insecticide Management Program Fo…

The program is designed to help growers use SePRO’s insect management tools to prevent plant damage from a variety of pests.

Read More
Small Aphid Colony on Calibrachoa

May 2, 2016

How To Stop Aphids In The Greenhouse

When untreated, aphids damage ornamental crops and act as vectors for disease. Integrated Pest Management combined with vigilant scouting can help you stay ahead of the problem.

Read More

April 28, 2016

Holistic, Integrated Approach To Pest Control Rooted In…

Greenhouse growers have been practicing integrated pest management for decades, but it’s becoming increasingly more important with the continued scrutiny of conventional pest control by a number of “regulators” — government, retail, and consumers. I just returned from Meister Media Worldwide’s Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference, in Monterey, CA, at the beginning of March this year, which served 450 attendees and 50 exhibiting supplier companies. It’s clear from the presentations and the growing attendance at this specialized event — now only in its second year — that use of biocontrols in IPM will continue to be adopted widely, as more growers get past their personal hurdles of doubt and intimidation, and embrace a new way to approach pest and disease control. Many growers think of using biocontrols as an all-or-nothing approach, but ultimately, IPM is about balance. Growers will need to continue to focus on IPM, integrating chemistry with biology, because […]

Read More
Cicada (Greg Hoover, Penn State)

April 26, 2016

Cicadas Set To Emerge In Several Eastern States This Sp…

While there’s no immediate cause for alarm, experts say the cicada’s egg-laying process can damage woody ornamentals and make them vulnerable to diseases.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

April 18, 2016

4 Things You Need To Know About Implementing Biological…

Biocontrols are useful alternatives to traditional pesticides that provide effective pest control in the greenhouse. Here are four ways to get started successfully.

Read More

March 22, 2016

EPA Approves Syngenta’s Mainspring GNL Insecticide For …

Featuring the active ingredient cyantraniliprole, Mainspring GNL provides broad-spectrum control of key pests, such as thrips, whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars, leafminers, and leaf-feeding beetles.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]