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industrial crops

Crops that primarily have industrial applications in contrast to food or livestock feed uses. Industrial uses account for a relatively small but a growing and potentially much larger share of the market for farm commodities. The USDA devotes a significant research effort to identifying and developing new industrial uses for crops; this effort is encouraged by the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation (AARC). Some of the industrial and experimental crops include: castor beans (lubricants, nylon, cosmetics); chia (cosmetics); crotalaria (fibers); cuphea (soap, surfactants); guar (food stiffeners, drilling muds, paper manufacturing); guayule (natural rubber and hypoallergenic latex products); hesperaloe (specialty pulp paper); kenaf (twine, fiberboard, carpet padding, newsprint); lesquerella (lubricants, cosmetics); meadowfoam (cosmetics, lubricants, water repellents); milkweed (insulated clothing, filler for comforters, nonwoven textiles) and plantago ovato (high fiber additive to laxatives). While corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol, it is not considered an industrial crop because nearly 95% of production goes to feed uses.

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