Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2003
Publication Date: 11/6/2003
Citation: COFFELT, T.A., NAKAYAMA, F.S., RAY, D.T., FOSTER, M.A. GUAYULE A USEFUL PLANT FROM THE DESERT SOUTHWEST. AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS. 2003.
Technical Abstract: Guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) is a perennail shrub native to the Chihuahuan Desert of Northern Mexico and Southern Texas. Native Americans used guayule as a natural rubber source prior to 1500. While guayule has been grown for rubber and more recently its hypoallergenic latex, other uses have been identified. Guayule biomass for various types of energy production is one new use for this crop. As an energy source, whole plant guayule biomass (21.77 MJ kg-1) is higher than other plant biomass sources (about 18.61 MJ Kg-1). Guayule resin (37.90 MJ kg-1)compares with energy values for oil from oilseed crops such as sunflower, soybean, canola, etc. as an energy source. The whole plant biomass with rubber (latex) and resin removed is still equal to or higher than other plant biomass sources (20.49 MJ kg-1). Guayule may partially fulfill Calvin's dream of growing energy crops in the desert southwest. Another potentially important product from guayule is the resin. The resin imparts resistance to termites and wood rot fungi in guayule wood products or other types of wood treated with the resin. Newly released germplasm has shortened the 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. The development of new uses and improved germplasm make guayule an attractive new crop for production in the desert southwest.