Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: The potential commercialization of vernonia, a new alternative epoxy oilseed crop, depends on improving seed yields and developing farm production requirements of the crop. Vernonia is used in industry to manufacture plastics, protective coatings, lubricants, and many other products. Varieties must also be identified and developed for specific geographic areas. Nitrogen applications of 100 lbs per acre resulted in optimal seed yields in Virginia, and the herbicide Trifluralin could be a candidate for weed control registration there based on this research. Four new breeding lines in this study were identified as superior in seed yield compared to a standard line. These results should help establish vernonia as an alternative crop for Virginia and other mid- Atlantic regions of the U.S. and provide growers in depressed economic regions with an alternative source of income and industry with a new source of naturally epoxidized fatty acids.
Technical Abstract: Field experiments were conducted from 1992-1996 to determine the potential of vernonia production as an alternate oilseed crop in Virginia. During 1994, 1995, and 1996, a selected group of Vernonia galamensis [(Cass.) Less.] lines were evaluated for various traits. The seed yield (kg/ha) during 1994, 1995, and 1996 ranged from 490 to 1288, 494 to 1394, and 1070 to 1934, respectively. The 1994 results are from nine experimental lines and a check (A0399) whereas both 1995 and 1996 results were obtained from the same 13 experimental lines and a check (A0399). The oil content ranged from 30.2 to 36.7 %, and 32.1 to 39.2 %, respectively for 1995 and 1996. The vernolic acid content ranged from 68.9 to 74.7 % and 69.1 to 75.6 %, respectively, for 1995 and 1996. A significant positive correlation (r=0.34) existed between oil content and vernolic acid content. The 1994 experiments indicated that variation existed among vernonia lines for seedhead maturity, which ranged from 18 to 43 %. An experiment with three rates each of N, P, and K fertilizers (50, 100, and 150 kg/ha) indicated that highest seed yield was obtained with 100 kg N/ha. The effects of varying P and K rates did not affect seed yield. A preliminary experiment indicated that a pre-plant-incorporated application of Trefllan herbicide at 1.8 1/ha did not damage vernonia stand establishment. Seedhead shattering was observed to be a limitation in the evaluated vernonia germplasm. These results indicate that progress in improving vernonia for seed yield, oil content, and seedhead maturity has been made and commercial vernonia production in Virginia and other areas in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. may be feasible.