Ground Cover South : Ground Cover 057 August-September 2005 - South
News 11 August/september 2005 grouNd cover New oilseed mAy opeN iNdustriAl mArkets By Sue KnightS n Interest is growing in southern Australia in a potential new oilseed crop, crambe, with an Australian/New Zealand/UK seed business consortium now offering production contracts to growers. Crambe (Crambe abyssinica) is a member of the same plant family as canola (Brassicaceae). It usually has a shorter growing season than canola. In some overseas trials, crambe has proved more resistant to heat and drought stress than canola, which may have given rise to the interest in the crop in Australia. One possible yield limitation, however, is the fact that it bears only one seed per pod, unlike the multiple seeds characteristic of canola. However, the crop can be direct- headed, reducing production costs. Crambe was first evaluated in Australia by Dr Phil Salisbury in the early 1990s in the Wimmera and Mallee environments of Victoria. Generally yields were much lower than canola, but crambe appeared to perform much better in the Mallee environments. Later trials by Geoff Castleman in the same environments produced yields of 0.5 to 1.3 tonnes a hectare. In my own trials of several lines of crambe in the Wimmera in 1998, yields were around 0.3 tonnes a hectare, although all lines were affected by a severe frost that season. Blackleg evaluation trials by Dr Steve Marcroft in 1999, on a limited number of entries, indicated that crambe has reasonable resistance to the disease. New varieties of crambe are now available for production in Australia which reportedly yield much better than the older varieties. The crop has potential as an industrial fatty acid feedstock, being a source of erucic acid. Erucic acid is used mainly as erucamide, an effective non-stick agent in polyolefin films such as food wraps, plastic bags and shrink-wrap products. It can also be converted to nylon 1313, or hydrogenated to behenic acid, which also has many applications in the manufacture of rubber, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fabric softeners, hair conditioners and rinses. High erucic oils are used for the production of lubricants, plasticisers and foam suppressants. Crambe oil is a very effective lubricant, and is much more biodegradable than mineral oils, so it may be used alone or as additives for the textile, steel and shipping industries. Other crop species that could potentially compete with crambe are those high in erucic acid; high erucic acid rapeseed and other Brassica species. Crambe has been successfully grown, processed and marketed on a commercial scale in North Dakota, US, since 1990. A major reason for its success has been a multidisciplinary team involved in the research, development and commercialisation of the species through the auspices of the High Erucic Acid Development Effort (HEADE). In North Dakota, ecologically, crambe has offered a unique opportunity for farmers to diversify their crop rotations because it shares few pests with more commonly grown crops. However, crambe has one shortfall. Due to its low weight (at a high volume), expensive transport costs make it economic to process only close to where it is grown. In recent years, the production of crambe in North Dakota has fluctuated as the commercial players involved in the industry have changed. Its future will depend on both the future of bio-renewable resources together with innovative research to develop additional markets for the crop. In 2001 the GRDC funded a scoping study to determine opportunities for alternative oilseeds in the southern region. The study, which covers a suite of 20 oilseeds and includes crambe, incorporates profiles of each crop species, covering aspects such as uses, fatty acid profile and products, competing sources, origin, history and present world status, breeding, Australian studies, agronomic principles and practices, germplasm availability, description, adaptation and potential in the southern region of Australia. Other species included in the study are camelina, borage, calendula, niger, white mustard and euphorbia. dr knights undertook the grdc-funded scoping study while employed with the university of melbourne. Free copies of the study are available from brondwen maclean at the grdc, 02 6272 5525. ∆grdc research code UM132 For more information: dr Sue Knights, email@example.com crAmbe (Crambe abyssiniCa) is A member oF the sAme plANt FAmily As cANolA (brassiCaCeae). it usuAlly hAs A shorter growiNg seAsoN thAN cANolA. The GRDC invites and assesses Conference Sponsorship applications twice a year. Conference Sponsorship Applications are being considered for the period January to June 2006 and must be submitted by Friday, 30 September 2005. These applications should not be included as a part of any other GRDC research project or attached to other GRDC applications. Applicants interested in preparing a Conference Sponsorship application are required to use the GRDC’s Word 2000 template (see details right). The GRDC invites and assesses Travel Award applications twice a year. Travel Award applications are being considered for the period January to June 2006 and must be submitted by Friday, 30 September 2005. These applications should not be included as a part of any other GRDC research project or attached to other GRDC applications. Applicants interested in preparing a Travel Award application are required to use the GRDC’s Word 2000 template (see details right). Industry Development Awards are aimed at developing the skills and information required to achieve grower and GRDC’s objectives. This award is available specifically for Australian graingrowers who are seeking to enhance their experience and potential to contribute to the work of the Australian grains industry. The awards may be for study tours within Australia or overseas, or for other purposes approved by the GRDC. Support will be for up to six months and will not exceed $15,000. The GRDC invites and assesses Industry Development Award applications twice a year. The next closing date for IDA applications is Friday, 30 September 2005. The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) invests in research and development on behalf of the Australian grains industry and the Australian Government. APPLICATIONS FOR CONFERENCE SPONSORSHIP 2005-06 TRAVEL AWARD APPLICATIONS 2005-06 INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT AWARD (IDA) APPLICATIONS 2005-06 HOW TO APPLY Applicants are required to use the GRDC’s Word 2000 template. This form can be completed on any IBM compatible PC with Microsoft Word 2000 (or a later version) or any word processing software that can convert from Word 2000. If you require an alternate version, please contact the Program Support Coordinator for the Communication & Customer Services team on 02 6272 5525. When complete, the GRDC will require six (6) paper copies (A4 size, double-sided, stapled) to be submitted. Applications should be addressed to: Program Support Coordinator Communication & Customer Services Grains Research & Development Corporation PO Box 5367 KINGSTON ACT 2604 In addition to the ‘hard’ copies, an electronic copy must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The name of the emailed word document should incorporate the applicants name e.g. smith.doc. These Word templates can be found under the ‘Applying and Reporting’ section of our website: www.grdc.com.au/researchers/forms.htm Applications close on Friday, 30 September 2005. No late applications will be accepted.
Ground Cover 058 October-November 2005 - South
Ground Cover 056 June-July 2005 - South