FORT COLLINS, Colo. (April 25)—Researchers at Colorado State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and elsewhere have begun research into developing sunflowers genetically as a source of natural rubber. Sunflowers already produce a small amount of latex, said Katrina Cornish of the USDA, and they show promise as a readily available domestic source of rubber. Cornish and other researchers in the sunflower project already are involved in the effort to commercialize guayule as a rubber source. Yulex Corp., which holds the USDA contract for guayule commercialization, is set to plant 5,000 acres of the southwestern desert shrub beginning in September, said Yulex President Jeff Martin.
Researchers work toward getting rubber from sunflowers
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