Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2003
Publication Date: 11/6/2003
Citation: COFFELT, T.A., NAKAYAMA, F.S., RAY, D.T., CORNISH, K. 2003. POST-HARVEST GUAYULE STORAGE TESTS. ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL CROPS CONFERENCE. p. 25.
Technical Abstract: Guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) is a perennial shrub native to the Chihuahuan Desert of Northern Mexico and Southern Texas. New germplasm has shortened harvest time from 3 to 5 years to 2 to 3 years. Biomass yields of newer lines approach 22 t ha-1 within 2 years. One of the most valuable products from guayule is its hypoallergenic latex. However, little research has been done on methods to handle the shrub from the time it is harvested in the field until it is processed for latex extraction. Past results have shown that extractable latex yields from shrub stored under ambient conditions are almost zero within 24 hours following harvest. The development of storage and handling systems to maintain latex yields during the critical period from shrub harvest until latex extraction would be very beneficial to growers and processors. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of various storage treatments on the latex content of harvested guayule. The treatments consisted of storing the shrub dry in the shade, and with various moisture treatments in the shade. Results indicate that storage under dry conditions results in almost zero latex being extracted. These results confirmed our previous observations. However, storage under several different moist conditions maintained latex yields equal to freshly harvested guayule latex yields for periods of up to four weeks. Results from these tests indicate that harvested guayule shrub can be stored and processed following field harvest without losing latex yield.