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2003 Research Updates


2003 Niger Experiments


Bee Pollination

High value birdseed for the Midwest

Niger, Guizotia abyssinica, is a new crop alternative with potential for cultivation in the Midwest. Investigators with the Alternative Crops Research Program at Western Illinois University are studying niger as a possible new addition to the current cropping regime in the western part of Illinois. Niger is most known in the United States as a high dollar birdseed for use in finch and other feeders.


Niger is an annual, oilseed crop that is primarily grown in Ethiopia and India. The plants can survive under dry conditions and have few insect or disease pests in the United States. The seeds of the niger are extremely fine, and are not considered a noxious weed.

Prior Research Projects

bulletSpring 2001 Transplants
bulletSpring 2001 Direct Seeding
bulletNiger Breeding Program



Barbara Hellier - Horticulture Crops Curator, Western Regional Plant Introduction Station, USDA-ARS


Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute 

Niger Article

bulletNiger  (Guizotia abyssinia (L.f.) Cass.) Production in Northwest Minnesota by the University of Minnesota Extension Service
bullet Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass. by James A. Duke
bullet Niger - PDF Publication by International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
bullet Listing of Useful Plants of the World - Australian New Crops
bulletWild Bird Feeding Industry
bulletBirds:  What's for Dinner? by Doug & Bonnie Merritt

Selected References

bulletNiger Citations

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Last revised: October 19, 2012