VEGGIE PLASTIC PIONEER CASTAGRA ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL CASTOR OIL SEED PLANTING IN WEST TEXAS
‘SUB-SURFACE DRIP IRRIGATION BEING USED TO MAXIMISE YIELDS’
RENO, NEVADA, JUNE 1 2012 – Castagra Products Inc., a pioneer in ‘veggie plastic’ industrial coatings, announced today that its 2012 experimental castor oil seed planting program in West Texas, has been completed. Harvesting is anticipated sometime in October.
The seed program, on six farms with a total of 100 acres planted, is being led by Texas A&M’s Texas AgriLife Research, which is developing lower ricin content, higher yielding castor plants of a more uniform type that will facilitate mechanical harvesting.
Castagra CEO, Peter Roosen, who helped oversee the planting program, said “Castor bean plants have been grown in the US since the 1850s, but they got eclipsed by low world prices that led to their production demise.
“We believe the new cultivars can produce significantly greater yields of this important oil and bring substantial economic benefits to Texas. The crop is considered to be of strategic importance to the US government as it can be made into bio-fuel. For Castagra, it is one of the two key ingredients in the coatings we use to protect oil and gas tanks, pipes, ships, and major concrete structures.
“The fact that the crop is also being grown with the use of sub-surface drip irrigation is also of significant importance in Texas as it is far more efficient that conventional irrigation in that it delivers the water more directly to the plants, uses less water, raises yields, and allows crops to receive additional nutrients more effectively, cutting overall costs.”
In Australia, sub-surface irrigation has proven, in a 10-year-study, to be the method of choice for irrigating sugar cane when water and fertilizer application efficiency is critical either for environmental protection or for resource conservation.
“Crop diversity is important for Texas as is good soil management, a vital need well established from the lessons learned in the mid 1930s.
“We are coming at this project for a secure US commercial source of high quality castor oil from two fronts. We want the best yields combined the best agricultural practices. We believe we will achieve this by working closely with Texas A&M and using sub-surface drip irrigation,” commented Roosen.
Castagra, which is headquartered in Reno, is primarily focused on protective coatings for the oil and gas industries of North America. The main business activities are in Houston, Phoenix, Calgary and Pittsburgh for the emerging oil and gas shale play. The company’s coatings are highly regarded as they do not use highly toxic solvents either in their mix, or application. www.castagra.com.