Submitted to: Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The oil-based paint and pesticide industries are looking for ways to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to atmospheric pollution. One alternative to solve this problem is to use vegetable oils high in epoxy fatty acids. Vernonia (Vernonia galamensis) is one of the few plants that naturally synthesizes an epoxy fatty acid suitable for these uses. New germplasm and production practices must be developed for Vernonia to be a successful new crop in North America. The objectives of our research are to develop and evaluate new germplasm for higher yields, oil content, and vernolic acid content, as well as to develop acceptable production practices. New day- neutral flowering response hybrids have been developed. These hybrids have been evaluated in yield tests and promising hybrids selected for commercial production. Yields have ranged from about 300 kg/ha to 800 kg/ha. Significant genotype x environment interactions also have been observed. Production practices have been developed for planting and harvesting the crop. The highest yielding hybrids have provided seed for the first commercial fields of Vernonia to be grown in Oklahoma in 2001.