University of Arizona,
Keywords: Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions, bioeconomics
Summary:SBAR is a Coordinated Agricultural Project or CAP funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. The overall goal is to determine the types of crops that require low amounts of water, are natural to the arid southwest, and can be used to strengthen the bioeconomy in the region. Guayule is the major crop being investigated. SBAR combines the expertise of universities (University of Arizona, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, and New Mexico State University), USDA/ARS and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. Research accomplishments include: development of agronomic practices to reduce water requirements; identification of select germplasm producing higher yields at lower irrigation rates; new field models for irrigation application; understanding soil health through microbiome analysis; identification of guayule secondary metabolites that will potentially result in specialty co-products; and the distillation and characterization of guayule resin to generate market commodity co-products, such as terpenes, bio-based adhesives and insect repellents. The team has developed and validated an integrated life cycle assessment model for guayule, including an integrated economic and environmental impact assessment tool, and developed a model for farm water need/use. Metrics for social sustainability in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals have been identified, which inform future research needs for critical social sustainability factors in the Southwest. An overview of the project and key results will be presented.