Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4)

Mission & Vision


The IR-4 Project Commemorates 60 Years of Impact    

February 6, 2023 — This year, The IR-4 Project commemorates 60 years of operation. Since its establishment by land grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1963, IR-4 has championed specialty crop growers by facilitating the registration of safe, effective pest management solutions to meet their unique needs.  Specialty crops (which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, and horticulture crops) are not typically served by agrochemical companies’ registration efforts. Larger acreage, “major crops” (like corn and soybeans) typically yield higher returns on investment. This “minor use problem” spurred the founding of IR-4.   Read More >>>

               IR4 in Green

The IR-4 Project Pest Management Solutions for Specialty Crops and Specialty Uses Video

Located at the Lower Eastern Shore Research & Education Center, Salisbury, Maryland, our branch of IR-4 continues research to accomplish the following:

Our Mission

The mission of the IR-4 Project is to facilitate regulatory approval of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and specialty uses to promote public wellbeing.

Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been the primary resource for facilitating registrations of conventional chemical pesticides and biopesticides for specialty crops and other minor uses (specialty uses) in the United States. Using its unique ability to partner with government, industry and growers, IR-4 develops required data to support the registration of pest management products.

IR-4’s commitment and service to the producers of fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamentals and specialty uses is unsurpassed; the Project’s research efforts have yielded over 45,000 use registrations in the past 50 plus years.

The IR-4 Project is committed to remain relevant to its stakeholders. Through advisory boards, workshops and strategic planning, new programs and initiatives have been added to assist specialty crop growers with their pest management needs.

Our Vision

The IR-4 Project aspires to remain a responsive and efficient organization that supports the farmer/growers, food processors and consumers of specialty crops/specialty uses by facilitating U.S. regulatory approval and international acceptance of chemical and biologically-based pest management technologies.

This allows producers and food processors to provide a consistent supply of nutritious foods, essential to good health, as well as aid in the production of ornamental horticulture crops that enhance the environment. IR-4 activities also assist in agriculture profitability.

The IR-4 Project effectively and efficiently assists with obtaining regulatory approvals for small market uses of pest management technology, such as specialty uses of pesticide products on major crops (corn, soybean, cotton, grains). Other specialty uses include the management of invasive species, approval of biotechnology for specialty crops and use of pest management technology to manage arthropod pests that pose a public health risk.   For more information go to the Nation site at:


Marylee Ross

IR-4 Field Research Director, NE Region Coordinator           410-742-1178 x310

Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center (LESREC)

27664 Nanticoke Road

Salisbury, Maryland 21801-1648


Megan James

IR-4 NER Assistant Field Coordinator, Field Research Director    410-742-1178 x317

Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center (LESREC)

27664 Nanticoke Road

Salisbury, Maryland 21801-1648

IR-4 LESREC Photos