Submitted to: National Symposium - New Crops
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The United States is totally dependent upon imports to meet the industry and defense needs for castor (Ricinus communis L.) oil. These imports have an approximate value of $30 million per year. Seventy-four early-maturing accessions were selected from USDA's castor collection being maintained at Griffin, Georgia. An experiment was conducted to evaluate these accessions. Five hills (one seed/hill) of each accession were planted at Petersburg, Virginia (370-15'N and 0770-30.8'W) on May 13, 1994 in rows spaced 1.5 m apart. The distance between hills was 0.6 m. The plant height varied from 64 to 242 cm. The 100-seed weight varied from 10 to 44 g. The oil content (dry weight basis) varied from 22 to 41% whereas the content of ricinoleic fatty acid in the oil varied from 58 to 92%. The mean seed-yield (calculated by using single plant yield) of 74 accessions was 1039 kg/ha with a range from 60 to 2629 kg/ha. The mean seed- yield of two U.S. varieties, Hale and Lynn, was 1363 and 1040 kg/ha, respectively. The highest yielding accession, PI-257457 from South Africa, had a seed yield of 2629 kg/ha. Significant positive correlation existed between yield and 100-seed weight and yield and oil content. The content of ricinoleic fatty acid exhibited a significant negative correlation with yield. The results from 1994 experiment indicated that castor has potential as a new crop for Virginia. To obtain additional observations, these accessions have been planted in replicated experiments in Virginia and Oklahoma during 1995.