Kulbhushan K. Grover, P.O. BOX 30003, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, Sudhir Singla, Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia-Athens, Athens, GA and Sangamesh V. Angadi, 2346 State Rd 288, New Mexico State University, Clovis, NM
Guar or clusterbean (Cyamopsistetragonoloba L.) is a high value legume crop that has been traditionally grown in south Asia for centuries. Guar can be grown for fresh pods for vegetables, or for protein-rich high quality forage for animals or for seed to produce guar gum. Guar gum is obtained from guar seed endosperm which is mainly galactomannan polysaccharide giving the high viscosity properties and has been widely used in various food industry and cosmetics. More recently, use of guar gum for ‘fracking’, where combination of horizontal well drilling and hydraulic fracturing have enabled extraction of previously un-retrievable hydrocarbons from shale formations, has revolutionized natural gas industry. This newly found use of guar gum in oil drilling has resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand for guar gum by the US oil industry making the US the biggest user of the guar gum in the world. Currently, most of the world guar production takes place in semi-arid and arid regions of south Asia and about 90% of the US guar demand is met through imports from India and Pakistan. Guar can be adapted to semi-arid region of desert southwest including New Mexico due to its ability to tolerate high temperatures and dry conditions. The objective of this preliminary study was to evaluate several genotypes collected from various parts of the world through USDA germplasm for their adaptability in southern and eastern NM. Results will be presented on growth and seed yield and yield attributing characteristics of the tested genotypes. Results indicate that guar could grow and adapt well in the local cropping systems of NM.