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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Plant Physiology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #260741

Title: Harvest height and frequency effects on guayule latex, rubbers, and resin yields

item Coffelt, Terry
item RAY, D - University Of Arizona

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2010
Publication Date: 9/18/2010
Citation: Coffelt, T.A. and Ray, D.T. (2010). Harvest height and frequency effects on guayule latex, rubbers, and resin yields. 22nd Annual Meeting of the Association of the Advancement of Industrial Crops, September 18 - 22, 2010, Fort Collins, CO, p. 50.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) is a perennial shrub native to the Chihuahuan Desert. The commercialization of guayule for hypoallergenic latex and other products such as resin for termite resistant wood products and as an energy source have renewed interest in production practices such as harvesting height and frequency. Results from these types of agronomic studies are needed in order to develop guayule production schemes for successful commercialization. The objectives of this study were to determine the yield and concentration of latex, rubber, and resin of five guayule lines harvested at two cutting heights over three years and four harvesting schedules. The five lines with variable plant height used were AZ-2, AZ101, AZ-1, 11591, and N9-3 (tallest to shortest). Harvesting height Treatment 1 (T1) was the currently recommended 100% after two years followed by a second harvest after two years of regrowth. Treatment 2 was the same as T1, except the harvest height was only the upper 50% of the plant height. Treatments 3 and 4 were the same as T1 and T2, except the regrowth was harvested annually at 100% and 50%, respectively after the initial harvest at two years of growth. Treatments 5 and 6 were each harvested once after three years of growth at 100% and 50% cutting heights, respectively. Treatments 7 and 8 were each harvested once after four years of growth at 100% and 50% cutting heights, respectively. Each treatment was replicated four times. Yields were compared for each of the three harvest years and for total production across all four years. Harvesting at 100% of plant height gave higher yields than harvesting at 50% of plant height independent of the harvest schedule. Harvesting at 100% after four years of growth gave the highest yields, but more research is needed to determine if harvesting on a two year schedule may be easier for harvesting and extraction equipment. We did notice some plants did not regrow well when cut at 100% for three years consecutively (T3). AZ-2 and AZ101 were the largest plants, while N9-3 and 11591 were smaller with AZ-1 intermediate. The results for these lines were similar to previous studies when they were harvested at 100% of plant growth. There were significant interactions among lines and treatments. However, the interaction effects were smaller than the main effects of line and harvest schedule treatment and due mainly to the much smaller plant size of N9-3 compared to the other lines. As indicated in previous studies, the environment plays a large role in determining biomass, latex, rubber, and resin yields in guayule. In the future, optimum harvesting schemes at 100% of plant height may need to be developed for each line and environment.