Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2004
Publication Date: 5/27/2004
Citation: Gesch, R.W., Forcella, F., Olness, A.E. 2004. Cuphea grower's guide. In: Cuphea Production Contract 2004. Technology Crops International. p. 5-8. Interpretive Summary: Cuphea is a newly developed, potential oilseed crop that grows in the upper Midwest and can be used in rotation with corn and soybean. Because it has been domesticated in just the past 20 years, there is little known about the best farming methods to use for growing it as a crop. However, the USDA-ARS lab in Morris, Minnesota, has been conducting research over the past four years to develop a set of best management practices for cuphea production. Information obtained from that work has been used to create the "Cuphea Grower's Guide," which is intended to educate farmers about cuphea and provide methods to use for producing it as a crop. A company named Technology Crops Incorporated, will be using the "Grower's Guide" in their efforts to conduct an experimental commercialization of cuphea in Minnesota during the 2004 growing season.
Technical Abstract: Cuphea is a potential new oilseed crop that grows particularly well in the northern Corn Belt region of the U.S. Its seeds are rich in small and medium-chain triglycerols, which the chemical industry values as feedstock for manufacturing soaps and detergents, lubricants and personal care products. Cuphea is a newly domesticated crop, having been developed over about the last 20 years from an interspecific hybridization between Cuphea viscosissima and Cuphea lanceolata. Therefore, until recently, little was known in regards to best agricultural management practices for its production. The "Cuphea Grower's Guide" is a compilation of best management practices for cuphea production, developed from four years of agronomic and physiological research conducted at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Morris, Minnesota. The guide includes information about seedbed preparation, soil fertility management, planting, weed control, recommendations for irrigation, description of flowering and pollination, harvesting, proper seed handling and storage. The "Grower's Guide" is intended to both educate producers about cuphea, while providing them with the basics of how to produce a crop. In 2004, the "Cuphea Grower's Guide" will be used by Technology Crops Incorporated (TCI) who will be conducting an experimental commercialization of cuphea in west central and northern Minnesota with approximately seven growers. TCI is a USDA-ARS industrial partner who specializes in managing production of specialty crops and marketing their products.