Some local farmers who lost their early cotton crop to severe weather this year are turning to guar as a replacement in their fields.
Alex Muraviyov, General Manager of Guar Resources in Brownfield said this week that the company has picked up “several thousand acres” of Terry County farmland.
“We have had a lot of interest from local farmers who suffered damage from hail storms,” he said. “Guar is a good crop to follow when cotton doesn’t work for whatever reason and we always welcome our local farmers.”
Guar Resources recently completed its one-of-a-kind processing plant on the north side of Brownfield.
Company officials say it is the most advanced guar plant in the world.
“The plant is running and we are shipping product,” Muraviyov said. “We are learning as we go and working out some early problems, but it is going well and we are still happy to be in Brownfield.”
GR’s main processing facilities currently operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Currently, about 35 full time employees work at the plant.
Guar, a drought tolerant legume, is grown extensively in the Southwestern United States.
Ever since the 1950s, the guar plant has been the source of the guar gum additive the food industry uses to thicken foods or keep various ingredients smoothly mixed together. It’s in everything from frozen pizza to ice cream, egg white substitutes and baked goods.
“Guar is what we call an emulsifier,” says Calvin Trostle, a professor of agriculture at Texas A&M and a guar expert. “Guar is somewhat like a soybean plant. It has pods up and down the main stem.”
Guar gum is not only a common food additive, but also an important ingredient in the fracking process — the hydraulic fracturing of underground rock to release oil and gas deposits.
Article courtesy of Brownfield News