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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS FROM NEW CROPS Title: Thlaspi arvense (Pennycress) germination, development and yield potential

item Isbell, Terry
item Cermak, Steven

Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 2010
Publication Date: September 19, 2010
Citation: Isbell, T., Cermak, S.C. 2010. Thlaspi arvense (Pennycress) germination, development and yield potential [abstract]. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. p. 29.

Technical Abstract: Pennycress is being developed as an off-season rotation crop which precedes an annual soybean production. This rotation scheme may offer distinct advantages to farmers by providing additional farm income from an otherwise fallow season, with little impact on the subsequent soybean production. Pennycress was grown on a multi-acre field plot and small 2 m2 plots in the fall of 2008 and 2009. In the fall of 2008, field plots were established with a Brillion 6’ Sure Stand seeder at a planting rate of 2.5 x 106 seeds/hectare with expected germination of 72%. Plant stand density ranged from 7.4 x 105 to 3.2 x 106 plants/hectare. Plant density remained the same throughout the entire growing season. The multi-acre field had 1 m2 hand harvest yield range of 226–1533 kg/ha (202–1369 lbs/acre) and the corresponding block gave combine harvest yield in the range of 607-1087 kg/ha (542–971 lbs/acre). Average yield determined for the field by 1 m2 hand harvest was 1140 kg/ha (1018 lbs/acre) and the combine average yield was 1082 kg/ha (966 lbs/acre). In the fall of 2009, 1 m x 3 m complete randomized block design plots were established at NCAUR using a Great Plains 6’ wide No-Till grain drill at a seeding rate of 2.5 x 106 plants per hectare. Several different Thlaspi seed lots were evaluated for germination, plant stand development, maturity date, seed yield, oil content, and fatty acid (FA) profile. Lines from the Beecher germplasm clearly outperformed all other lines and gave hand harvested yields of 1075–2534 kg/ha (1204–2263 lbs/acre) with an average yield of 2035 kg/ha (1817 lbs/acre). The seed was found to contain 36% oil with the major FA as erucic at 38.1%, with an iodine value of 115. Viscosity index (VI) of the methyl esters was 277 with a 40 deg C viscosity of 5.0 cSt and a pour point (PP) and cloud point (CP) of -15 and -10 deg C, respectively. The starting oil had a VI of 222 with a 40 deg C viscosity of 39.1 cSt and a PP and CP of -18 deg C and -10 deg C, respectively. As expected, the flash point of the methyl esters at 136 deg C was considerably less than the starting oil at 234 deg C. Oil stability index of the oil at 100 deg C was 39 h and 54 h for methyl esters. The early harvest date of pennycress, compared to other winter annual oilseed crops, will make it suitable for a two-crop rotation with soybeans in most of the Midwestern U.S. In addition, the physical properties of the methyl esters indicate that continued development of the oil as a biodiesel is warranted.

Last Modified: 7/10/2014
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