K. Cornish. J. Cardina, J. Fresnedo, F.C. Michel, Jr.
The Ohio State University,
Keywords: alternative rubber and latex sources, guayule, rubber dandelion
Summary:About 2500 plant species make natural rubber but few have commercial prospects due to poor productivity or rubber quality. Rubber dandelion and guayule are the leading contenders for US production as field crops, and dandelion can also be produced intensively in indoor controlled environment vertical hydroponic farms. A major challenge remains in that premium markets with high profit margins must be identified and addressed to support commercialization at the small scale at which these crops will be initially introduced. COVID-19 induced demand for latex is likely to enhance the prospects of both crops as latex sources. Alternative natural rubber crops will not be able to compete in commodity markets until they expand to large scale production levels with associated extraction facilities and coproduct development. Progress in both crops and their associated processing methods will be presented and discussed.