CORVALLIS - Oregon State University crop researcher Gary Jolliff has been awarded $183,000 for research on meadowfoam, a new oilseed crop, as part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fund for Rural America Center for Crop Diversification.
With the grant, Jolliff plans to evaluate meadowfoam seed's oil yield, analyze the economics and assess markets for the newly emerging meadowfoam seed oil industry. He is collaborating with Oregon growers and researchers from other universities.
"Meadowfoam producers have made large investments, at high risk, in an effort to launch the new meadowfoam seed oil industry," said Jolliff, a professor of crop science at OSU. "It is important that these farmer-investors gain reasonable returns on their capital within a reasonable time period."
"The goal is to provide opportunities for farmers to position themselves to be competitive in sharing reasonable marketing margins," he continued. "Historically, farmers have had little or no competitive position in pricing and marketing their produce. This circumstance is, again this year, driving thousands of U.S. farmers out of business because of low prices for their crops and livestock. We desire to change the way the system works."
Meadowfoam, an annual oil seed crop was developed from a wild plant by a partnership of OSU and government researchers, growers and private industry. Meadowfoam seeds yield a high quality oil, currently used in the cosmetics industry and suitable as high-grade machine oil.