Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Lesquerella (Lesquerella fendleri) is a potential oilseed crop being developed in the arid southwestern U.S. It has a water requirement of about 60 mm, which is lower than that of many of the crops presently being grown in this region of the U.S. Lesquerella seeds are a source of hydroxy fatty acids for use in lubricants, protective coatings, plastics, surfactants, and cosmetics. In addition, gums extracted from the seed coat may have industrial potential. A consortium of the private and public sectors is involved in the research and development of Lesquerella. The first step in the development of a new crop is the identification and improvement of germplasm. For Lesquerella, germplasm has been collected over a period of years and has been or is being evaluated in field tests. Selection and breeding research has been largely directed toward improving seed and oil yields. Yields of 1700 kg/ha of seed and 30% oil have been obtained in research plots. Another important step in the commercialization of Lesquerella or any new crop is the development of an efficient agronomic production system. Research is in progress or has been completed on many aspects of Lesquerella production such as dates of planting, seeding rates and plant populations, planting systems, water management, weed control methods, and harvesting.