University News

Alternative Crops Field Day

June 21, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - Win Phippen, Western Illinois University agriculture professor, will host a two-hour tour of the Alternative Crops Research Plots from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, July 20 at the WIU Agriculture Field Laboratory, located directly north of the Harry Mussatto Golf course on Tower Road in Macomb.

This year's event will consist of a breeding history demonstration plot for corn, soybean and cuphea. According to Phippen, it has taken hundreds of years to develop today's corn lines and 50 years to develop today's soybean lines. This will be contrasted to the brief 20 years of breeding cuphea for the soap and detergent industry. More information about cuphea can be found at

A large demonstration plot of 20 potential alternative crops for growers will also be discussed, along with post emergent herbicide trials on okra and milkweed production. A new crop to Illinois, camelina, will also be discussed as a new high-quality oil for culinary (primarily salad oils) and personal care applications, Phippen added.

The bulk of the tour will be centered on touring the fields and visiting the cuphea and milkweed production fields. Jeff Wilson from the USDA-ARS will also discuss pearl millet variety trials.

The event is open free to the public with no reservations required. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Phippen at 309/298-1251 or

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