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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF SOYBEANS IN ROTATION WITH PENNYCRESS

Location: Bio-oils Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Determine the chemical composition of soybeans in rotation with pennycress.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Pennycress will be grown post corn harvest at WIU and grown over winter. In late May, pennycress will be harvested and soybeans grown to full maturity and harvested. A control of soybeans planted both at optimum date and post pennycress harvest date will also be grown and harvested at the same time as the pennycress rotation study. Soybean samples will then be brought to NCAUR and analyzed for their chemical composition; oil, protein, moisture, and fatty acid profiles. NCAUR will utilize NIR and GC FAME methods to conduct the chemical composition analysis.


3.Progress Report:

All of the known pennycress accessions were grown on the same field plot under the same environmental, nutrient, and water treatments under this agreement. Harvest of these variety trial blocks provided seed for chemical analysis. ARS scientists in the Bio-Oils Research Unit at the USDA-ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Peoria, Illinois, provided chemical analysis for 200 samples. Total oil content by pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) distribution by gas chromatography (GC), and moisture content by gravimetric analysis were determined. In addition, representative samples are being evaluated for total nitrogen content by combustion analysis. Soybean production post harvest is now being evaluated where seed yield and chemical profiling will be conducted post harvest this fall.

Pennycress was planted following corn at Western Illinois University and grown over the winter. In late May and early June, pennycress was harvested and soybeans grown to full maturity. A control of soybeans planted both at optimum date and post pennycress harvest date was also grown and harvested at the same time as the pennycress rotation study. Additionally, a spring planted pennycress rotation was conducted and followed by a full season soybean rotation. Soybean samples were hand harvested and sent to NCAUR and analyzed for their chemical composition; oil, protein, moisture, and fatty acid profiles. NCAUR utilized near infrared and GC FAME methods to conduct the chemical composition analysis.

All crop rotations resulted in an average of 51 bushels/acre except the rotation with spring pennycress resulting in a significantly decreased soybean yield of 38 bushels. Protein percentage, total oil, and all oil constituents were not significantly different except for the spring pennycress rotation. The difference seen in spring pennycress rotations was a result of delayed crop maturity, thus delayed soybean planting, and adverse weather conditions.


Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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