Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Seed yields are critical in determining the economic success of lesquerella. There have been reports of yield potential based on individual plants and on small-plot estimates. A decade ago attempts were made to produce lesquerella on farmers¿ fields to increase seed to measure seed yields. The objective of this study was to determine the amount of progress made since then in breeding and agronomy of lesquerella by again planting on farmers' fields. Seeds from the newer released germplasm selections were used; and yields, oil content, and oil quality were measured. We planted lesquerella on two farms in Texas and two in Arizona in the fall of 2001. The two Texas plantings were sown on the flat in 20 acre fields, one with a center pivot irrigation system and one with flood irrigation. One of the farms in Arizona was 25 acres, planted on raised beds with furrow irrigation, and the other was a 5 acre, flat field with flood irrigation. The germination was uniform at the flood-irrigated Texas farm, and less uniform at the farm with the center pivot. However, it was necessary to abandon both Texas fields because of an unusual fall-occurring hailstorm that destroyed many of the seedlings. Germination of the Arizona 25 acre field was limited to the sides of the beds and in the furrows. Germination did not occur on the top of the beds, presumably due to salinity. A uniform stand was obtained at the Arizona flat 5 acre field. Weeds were controlled by a preplant application of Treflan followed by Goal and Fusilade. The seed yields from the combine in the 5-acre field were 1,507 kg per ha (1687.5 lbs per acre). Hand harvested plots from this field were 1549.2 kg per ha (1735.5 lbs per acre). The seed yields from the combine in the 25-acre field were 950 kg per ha (1064.8 lbs per acre). The hand harvested plots were 980.5 kg per ha (1098.2 lbs per acre). Yield estimates from previous experiments on farmers¿ fields ranged between 714 and 1071 kg per acre (800 and 1200 lbs per acre). These results indicate that lesquerella yields have improved due to improved breeding lines and agronomic practices. Seed yields from flat fields were more than 60% greater than yields obtained from raised beds.