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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Agricultural Management of Cuphea in the Upper Midwest

Authors
item Gesch, Russell
item Forcella, Frank
item Barbour, Nancy
item Voorhees, Ward

Submitted to: Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 16, 2001
Publication Date: May 16, 2001
Citation: GESCH, R.W., FORCELLA, F., BARBOUR, N.W., VOORHEES, W.B. AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT OF CUPHEA IN THE UPPER MIDWEST. ANNUAL MEETING AND EXPO OF THE AMERICAN OIL CHEMISTS' SOCIETY. 2001. P. S72.

Technical Abstract: Currently, no temperate-climate oilseed crops are available to supply the demand for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) used in the U.S. chemical manufacturing industry. Cuphea sp. (plant family, Lythraceae), produces seed rich in MCFA and shows good potential for domestication. Semi- domesticated germplasm was provided to us by plant breeders at Oregon State University. Our objectives are to determine the agronomic potential of Cuphea in the upper Midwest, develop production guidelines, and explore the effects of environment on growth and development of plants. During 1999 and 2000, field experiments were conducted to determine optimum planting date and row spacing. Planting in early to mid May and harvesting in August resulted in maximum seed yield that was as high as 1 Mg ha**-1 in 1999. Seed yield declined as much as 30 and 65%, with earlier and later planting dates, respectively. Oil content of seed from the planting date experiment ranged from about 20 to 25% (w/w), with the predominant fatty acid being capric (C10:0), while crude protein was about 17 to 18%. Seed yield increased with row spacing from 0.125 to 0.5 m. Wider row spacing promoted branching and a greater number of filled pods per plant. Controlled environment experiments showed that long-term growth of Cuphea under low temperatures typical of late spring/early summer in the upper Midwest, led to increased photosynthetic capacity and carbohydrate production. Plants grown at warmer temperatures produced more vegetative mass, but seed yield was lower. Commercial production of Cuphea is still at an early stage, but our results show that it can be successfully grown in a temperate climate typical of the upper Midwest.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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