Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Current Status of Lesquerella As An Industrial Crop

Authors
item Abbott Dr, Thomas
item Dierig, David - US WATER CONSERVATION LAB
item Foster, Michael - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Nelson, Wayne - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Coates, Wayne - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Felker, Frederick
item Frykman, Hans
item Carlson, Kenneth - RETIRED ARS
item Arquette, James - INTL FLORA TECH LTD

Submitted to: Inform
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Taking a plant from the wild into the U.S. agricultural system requires a great deal of new knowledge and development. Finding the best plants, developing strong plants with good seed yields, giving farmers guidelines for growing the plants, harvesting and processing the seeds to oil and other products and then showing industry what can be made from the plant - is different for each plant. Lesquerella is a new crop that is more than half-way to being commercialized in the United States, and this article summarizes the progress in every area and where more information is needed.

Technical Abstract: Progress in the development of Lesquerella as an industrial oilseed crop is reported for seven key areas - germplasm collection and evaluation, varietal development of seed and plant characteristics, agronomics, harvesting and seed treatment, seed processing to value-added raw materials and product/market development and economics. Breeding studies have or are efocused on increasing the seed oil, gum and lesquerolic acid content, developing self-pollinating plant varieties, increasing average plant heights and plant uniformity, reducing oil pigmentation and glucosinolate levels in the meal, and developing varieties with higher seed yield. Some self-pollinating and higher oil content varieties have been developed, and higher oil varieties were released in 1996. Lesquerella fendleri is the best choice for high yields of oil, lesquerolic acid and gum at this time, but there are species of lesquerella that can be grown throughout the United States. Preliminary guidelines for agronomics, harvesting and seed treatment, and seed processing to value-added raw materials are available, but significant improvements in all of these areas are needed to bring harvested yields up to 1500 lb/acre. Lesquerella fits well in a rotation scheme of lesquerella, sorghum and cotton in three southern states. The nature of seed processing will depend on the value of oil, gum and meal and the cost of recovering each. Paint, coating, lubricant, grease and binder applications are established and some smaller volume, higher value applications are being developed.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page