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evening primrose &

C. Richter richter at gpu.utcc.utoronto.ca
Sun Oct 31 11:33:24 EST 1993

In article <1993Oct30.152245.21471 at jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca>,
Sandy Clarke <casclark at atlas.cs.upei.ca> wrote:
>	Hi, 
>		I am looking for information on growing Evening Primrose
>(oenothera biennis ) for the pharmaceutical indestury. If any one can give
>me any suggestions or comments I would appreciate it. I believe it is used

I am not aware of any reference with technical details on growing evening 
primrose as a crop for the pharmaceutical industry; however, as a supplier 
of seeds I can offer the following comments. 

Evening primrose is a commercial crop in southern Ontario where several 
strains have been developed.  The most common seems to be 'EP 10' which 
exhibits desirable yield, hardiness, and anti-shatter qualities.  It is 
this variety that we sell.  

Typically the pharmaceutical industry contracts with farmers to grow seed, 
and usually provides seeds from its own varieties.  The industry is 
reluctant to share any information and seed stock outside the company-
farmer compact; so it is has been difficult for general herb seed companies
like Richters to break in and make seeds widely available.  

Since evening primrose is a crop with special marketing challenges, it is 
advisable to contact the pharmaceutical companies that are doing growing
contracts.  This way, you will benefit from the know-how and seed stocks 
that are available from them.  If, however, you seek to establish your 
own marketing channels, we can supply seeds and some information to help 
you get started.  One advantage of "going alone" is that you will not 
be susceptible to the whims of the contracting company.  Many farmers in 
Ontario suffered heavy losses when one company failed to live up to its 
contractual obligations a few years ago.  

The best known company in the industry is Efamol, and their research 
institute, the Efamol Research Institute, Box 818, Kentville, NS B4N 4H8, 
is a good place to start making inquiries.  I am not sure if they are 
doing any contracts with farmers currently.  You could also contact Dr. 
Ib Nonnecke at the University of Guelph, who is the leading Canadian 
researcher in the agronomics of evening primrose.  

Conrad Richter
Richters Herbs
Goodwood, ON 
L0C 1A0  Canada

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