Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 35.62
Liaison Allison Jenks
Submission Date Sept. 7, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

New Mexico State University
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 joni newcomer
Mgr. Env. Policy and Sustainability
Facilities and Services
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:


The link to an article says much better than this reporter how passionate we are about our research for environmental projects.


Currently we have seven researchers who are developing uses for what was once considered a byproduct but is now a highly valuable part of the plant. This byproduct is the seed of a variety of cotton known as glandless cotton. It is a non-GMO cotton plant from which the seeds can be used for human consumption and aquaculture. A glandless cotton plant is more susceptible to insect damage because the gland serves as a natural insect deterrent, but programs in our Mesilla Valley have managed to eradicate two of the major insect pests for cotton making this area prime for glandless cotton production.

Some of the NMSU research projects involved with glandless cotton include: Insect research which will explore potential insect damage to the plant and alternatives to control insect pest pressure if it occurs. Another project involves using the high protein glandless cotton seed meal to feed shrimp in labs with the plant to ramp up to commercial demonstration in 2012 (see article attached). This will create a new commodity for New Mexico and will provide a fresh supply of shrimp to local markets and restaurants - no shipping of shrimp from an ocean! Another researcher is looking for ways to make gluten-free drinks and protein bars from the glandless cotton seed since cotton is higher in protein than peanuts and almost as high in protein as soybeans (also lower in fat than peanuts). It is the glands in the seed that are toxic to humans and animals, so our glandless cotton seeds grown in the desert are highly valued as a food source. Cotton does well in an arid climate and uses little water. It is primarily used for lint production to make clothing but now the seed could play a big role in providing protein to the world population. Cotton seed oil is also a good oil for cooking and salad dressings because it is a light oil with a high heat rate.

Very exciting for sustainability is our research in using the cotton seed oil for fuel after it has been used for food. We have a biofuels machine that turns used oil from the fryers in our campus kitchens into bio-diesel. That fuel will be directly transferred to a generator that powers irrigation wells that water the cotton in our fields – how’s that for a closed loop process!

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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