Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting North Central Branch
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 31, 2004
Publication Date: March 31, 2004
Citation: Behle, R.W., Isbell, T., Cermak, S.C. 2004. Cuphea--exploring insect interactions with this new oil crop [abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting North Central Branch. p. 30 Technical Abstract: Cuphea is a new oilseed crop currently being domesticated for production in Midwestern states. Cuphea produces seeds that contain as much as 35% oil, and lines of Cuphea can be selected for production of lauric or capric fatty acids. Currently, potential commercial Cuphea lines are high in capric fatty acid. Capric is supplied in limited quantities as a byproduct of lauric acid production from coconut (6%) and palm kernel oils (3%). Cuphea oil is pressed from seeds, then converted to fatty acids and condensed with oleic acid using perchloric acid at 60 C for 24 hours to produce estolides. These estolides have favorable characteristics for a variety of lubricant applications. Since Cuphea high capric acid content is in the initial phases of commercialization, all phases of production from farm to consumer need to be thoroughly researched to promote successful development. For example, a crop rotation study was initiated in 2001 near Urbana, IL, to determine the effect of adding Cuphea to the traditional rotation of corn and soybeans on the control of Western corn rootworm beetles, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. As part of this study, initial observations of insect damage to Cuphea plants have been made. Rootworm beetles captured in emergence cages placed in Cuphea plots indicate successful development of rootworm larvae by feeding on the roots of this plant. The sticky surface of Cuphea may prevent damage by smaller insects, although some potential pests may include flea beetles, stilt bugs, and noctuids.