Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2004
Publication Date: 9/19/2004
Citation: Foster, M.A., Dierig, D.A., Ray, D.T. 2004. Grower production of lesquerella in arizona. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. p. 16 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Research has shown that lesquerella can be produced in the arid and semi-arid Southwest. Growers need experience in growing lesquerella before this new crop can be commercialized. A reliable supply of seed must be guaranteed before industrial markets can be established. The objectives of this study were to establish large-scale plantings with local growers, provide seed to industry for testing and evaluating new products unique to lesquerella, and develop agronomic guidelines for growers. Three locations were planted in 2003: (1) Jon Chernicky Farm, Stanfield, AZ ' seeded October 7 with Brillion seeder at 11 kg seed/ha and drip irrigated; (2) The University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center, Maricopa, AZ ' seeded October 9 with Brillion seeder at 11 kg seed/ha and border irrigated; and (3) Larry Rovey Farm, Peoria, AZ ' seeded October 10 with Brillion seeder at 11kg seed/ha and border irrigated. Preplant incorporated treatments of Treflan (1.1 kg ai/ha) were applied. Postemergence treatments of Goal (0.6 kg ai/ha) and Fusilade (0.2 kg ai/ha were applied to control broadleaf and grass weeds. Honey bees (1 hive/0.6 ha) were located in each field during peak flowering. Harvests were conducted in June 2004 with conventional combines modified for harvesting alfalfa seed. The Stanfield and Peoria fields were allowed to dry naturally, and the Maricopa field was desiccated with paraquat (0.6 kg ai/ha) before harvesting. Seed yields were 460 kg/ha at Peoria, 2081kg/ha at Stanfield, and 1350 kg/ha at Maricopa. The low yield at Peoria was probably caused by the combination of weed competition and the resulting impact of large weeds during combining, and plant water stress related to irrigation scheduling. Ten years ago lesquerella seed yields in combine harvested fields averaged 900 to 1000 kg/ha with an oil content of 20 to 24%. Our results indicate that these traits have improved significantly through improved breeding lines and agronomic practices. A conservative estimate now is 1344 kg seed/ha with 29% oil content. Advances are occurring each year, and within four years, seed yields are expected to reach 2200 kg/ha with an oil content of 37%. Grower experience during 2003 and 2004 helped to update grower guidelines to include seed germination, planting dates, planting methods, irrigation and salinity management, weed control, insect and disease control, pollination, fertilization, harvesting, seed yields and oil content, and crop budgets.