Submitted to: Minnesota Academy of Science Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 25, 2003
Publication Date: April 25, 2003
Citation: GESCH, R.W., FORCELLA, F., SHARRATT, B.S., OLNESS, A.E., ARCHER, D.W. DEVELOPMENT OF CUPHEA AS A UNIQUE OILSEED CROP FOR THE U.S. CD-ROM. ST. PAUL, MN: MINNESOTA ACADEMY OF SCIENCE. 2003. Technical Abstract: Saturated plant oils composed of small and medium-chain triglycerides (i.e., C8:0 to C14:0) are extensively used in the chemical manufacturing industry. Yet, in the U.S. there currently are no crops grown to meet industries' demands. Several species from the genus Cuphea produce large quantities of such oils and some have potential for agronomic domestication. Recently, semi-domesticated lines developed from an interspecific cross between C. viscosissima and C. lanceolata have been shown to be successfully grown in west central Minnesota. Cuphea offers to be a true alternative crop that could be used in rotations that are already lacking in diversity. Our research with semi-domesticated cuphea has focused on developing agricultural management practices for its production and identifying potential environmental and agronomic limitations. Utilizing row-cropping equipment common to Midwest farmers, we have been relatively successful in establishing cuphea, and producing seed yields as high as 1.0 Mg ha**-1. We have found that cuphea may be susceptible to drought and heat-stress when incurred at reproductive phase. Difficulties associated with controlling weeds, seed harvesting and processing still exist. Although some obstacles still remain, results appear favorable for agronomic production of cuphea in the near future.