New Mexico State University, Colorado State University & University of Arizona Growing Guayule and Guar

Although they are not household words, guar gum (an extraction from guar beans) and guayule (a desert shrub) represent huge domestic and global markets. Demand for guar gum in the United States is up to $1 billion annually. Today, most guar gum is imported.

Researchers at New Mexico State University, Colorado State University, University of Arizona, and others are collaborating with the goal of scaling-up the profitable production of domestic sources of guar gum and guayule. These crops are drought-resistant and heat-tolerant. They require low amounts of water and grow well in the arid Southwest U.S.

Both guayule and guar are potential feedstock for biofuel and for high-value products such as rubber, resin, and polysaccharide. Guar gum powder is also used for ice cream, chocolate, sausage, pasta, jams, jellies, and thickening agents. Guayule produces natural rubber that is almost identical to natural rubber harvested from trees in Southeast Asia. The crop could serve as a valuable source of rubber to produce tires and for other commercial applications.

Funded by USDA, this research supports U.S. farmers in the Southwest as they face challenges to maintain or improve their farm profits. Guayule and guar can serve as alternatives that can help farmers grow new markets and take advantage of the tremendous demand for these crops.

Retaking The Field Volume 5 “Retaking the Field Volume 5: Innovation to Profit” explores how federally funded agricultural research strengthens farmers and ranchers’ bottomline by reducing costs and risks, increasing profits, and laying the groundwork for new products and industries. With powerful examples from universities across the country, it describes how research can generate outsized economic benefits that extends for decades. View The Issue
Retaking the Field Volume 5: Innovation to Profit Click to download report

More Stories from: Retaking The Field Volume 5

Building Blueberry Businesses

The Florida blueberry industry got its start in the 1970s when the University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences developed the first Southern Highbush blueberry...

Read More
Conquering Cotton Pests

The boll weevil is a pest that devastates cotton plants by feeding on its buds and flowers. Native to Central Mexico, the beetle spread throughout the southwest by the 1920s and nearly...

Read More
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Creates $300 Million Economic Impact

At North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension educators taught classes that empowered people to make better-informed decisions in communities across the state.

Read More