Miller: Saving IR-4 Critical To Greenhouse Crop Protection

America In Bloom Announces Winning Cities

Think about the high-profile plant diseases growers are encountering these days – downy mildew on impatiens, boxwood blight – and what the consequences will be if you don’t have the appropriate products to protect those plants.

Take gloxinias for example.

“We’ve virtually stopped growing them because we couldn’t control the pests,” says Marvin Miller, market research manager at Ball Horticultural Company. “We couldn’t solve the tomato spotted wilt virus with it. Really, we’ve had a whole list of crops we’ve stopped growing because we couldn’t control pests.”

If funding for the IR-4 Project is reduced or eliminated, as Pres. Barack Obama’s 2013 budget plan is currently designed, Miller suggests the list of crops growers no longer produce will grow longer. According to OFA, Congress currently provides about $15 million to IR-4, which was established in the 1960s to facilitate the registration of safe and effective crop protection products for specialty crops like greenhouse plants.

For 2013, the Obama administration proposes consolidating IR-4 funds with other pest management programs into a single project called “Crop Protection.” If the current budget stands, Miller expects funding for floriculture research to take a hit.

“More than half the chemicals for floriculture crops today are probably the recipient of IR-4 research,” Miller says. “That by itself speaks volumes about the issue we now face.”

Miller adds that consolidating specialty crops research funds into a single project will likely benefit big-acreage industries like corn, soybeans and cotton.

“We think we’re big as an industry because we know all of our competitors,” he says. “But if you’re a chemical company, their bread and butter is corn, soybeans, cotton.”

And floriculture, in many cases, is an afterthought.

“Look at whitefly,” Miller says. “If a company has a chemical that attacks whitefly, they’ll get certification for cotton or for beans because of the pure acreage of those crops. Once you’ve hit those markets, you’ve already made your money back on any formulation. And the next question is did you seek certification to do the research so we can use that product on fruits and vegetables?”

Sometimes, Miller continues, chemical companies can’t justify the costs. That’s where IR-4 comes in: If IR-4 is eliminated or its funding is cut, the number of specialty crops being researched could diminish.

“Whether or not we would have enough [funds] to deal with any one pest efficiently is the real issue,” Miller says.

Given IR-4’s contribution, OFA and ANLA are urging growers to contact Congress to ask that the IR-4 Project be maintained as a separate budget line item in the USDA budget. Miller hopes growers will write letters.

Growers can do just that at http://www.capwiz.com/anla/home/.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Miller: Saving IR-4 Critical To Greenhouse Crop Protection

  1. They should all be using Moisturin, or Plant Armour in place of IR-4. Then the could do the same thing for their greenhouse plants, do good for the environment and not worry about toxic chemicals any more.

More From Insect Control...
Ambrosia Beetle

April 7, 2017

Tips On How to ID Ambrosia Beetle Damage, And How to Control it

Ambrosia beetles are often overlooked as being a primary cause of plant loss, but research and experience are proving otherwise.

Read More

March 20, 2017

Neonic Insect Control Alternative Offers Favorable Profile for Honeybees and Bumblebees

Altus, a butenolide class insecticide with the active ingredient flupyradifurone, will be available beginning May 1, and is labeled for greenhouse and nursery use on ornamental plants, vegetable transplants, and indoor vegetable production.

Read More

February 28, 2017

OHP Launches New Ovicide/Miticide, Announces Partnership With Vestaron

Applause is a new miticide that targets eggs and immature stages of several mite species. Through the Vestaron partnership, OHP will market Spear-O, a toxin-derived bioinsecticide.

Read More
Latest Stories
Ambrosia Beetle

April 7, 2017

Tips On How to ID Ambrosia Beetle Damage, And How to Co…

Ambrosia beetles are often overlooked as being a primary cause of plant loss, but research and experience are proving otherwise.

Read More

March 20, 2017

Neonic Insect Control Alternative Offers Favorable Prof…

Altus, a butenolide class insecticide with the active ingredient flupyradifurone, will be available beginning May 1, and is labeled for greenhouse and nursery use on ornamental plants, vegetable transplants, and indoor vegetable production.

Read More

February 28, 2017

OHP Launches New Ovicide/Miticide, Announces Partnershi…

Applause is a new miticide that targets eggs and immature stages of several mite species. Through the Vestaron partnership, OHP will market Spear-O, a toxin-derived bioinsecticide.

Read More
Remote Sensing Feature

February 12, 2017

Using Remote Sensing to Optimize IPM in Greenhouses

Researchers at the University of California Davis are developing advanced remote sensing technologies to automate detection of insect pest infestations in greenhouses, which could revolutionize integrated pest management practices.

Read More
Adult Thrips feature

January 25, 2017

Tips to Stay Ahead of Aphids, Mites, and Thrips

Control these persistent pests with innovative chemistries that will expand your rotation options with new modes of action.

Read More
Effective pest control

January 12, 2017

Prevention and Early Intervention: The Keys to Biocont…

Advance preparation and starting out right helps you implement an effective biocontrol program that reduces pest pressure.

Read More
Two-spotted spider mites, adults and eggs

January 10, 2017

Pest Management Workshop to Take Place in Virginia on J…

Battlefield Farms will host the workshop, which is being coordinated by Virginia Cooperative Extension and will focus on new techniques in disease and insect control.

Read More
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