The main oil crop research of the Russian Federation are concentrated in the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution "Federal Scientific Center "All-Russian Research Institute of Oil Crops by V.S. Pustovoit (VNIIMK)". VNIIMK is located in Krasnodar, the administrative center of Kuban.
The history of the institute begins in 1912 when the experimental and breeding field "Kruglik" was organized under the Kuban military and agricultural school. The name "Kruglik" was derived from the location of the school. It was one of the first Kuban experimental institutions of field crops, among which sunflower eventually began to play an increasingly important role.
Vasily Stepanovich Pustovoit, a young agriculturist and school teacher, was the organizer and the head of the experimental field.
His name is associated with the formation of sunflower as an oil crop, which at first was widespread in our country and then in many countries of the world. The achievements of V.S. Pustovoit are especially high in the development of the methods of sunflower breeding and seed growing, in the development of high-yielding varieties with high oil content that were also resistant to diseases and pests. The increase of oil content of sunflower seeds from 28-32% to 50-53% is a unique achievement of V.S. Pustovoit.
An important place in the breeding of oil crops and, above all, of sunflower is held by the Don experimental station (DOS) of VNIIMK, established in 1923, when the first nurseries of winter and spring wheat. In the following years, sunflower, barley, soybean, Sudan grass, rye and other crops were included in the breeding work.
For more than half a century, Leonid Afanasievich Zhdanov, a distinguished plant breeder, worked at the station and now the station bears his name. His main achievement is the development of broomrape-resistant varieties of sunflower. L.A. Zhdanov developed the first sunflower varieties resistant to broomrape race B: Zhdanovsky 6432, Zhdanovsky 8281 and Stepnyak. They were widely known in the 30s of the XX century and were sown on over 1 million hectares.
The Armavirskaya experimental station (AOS) of VNIIMK owes its establishment to the experimental station, organized in 1928 on the initiative of V.S. Pustovoit. The research on the breeding of sunflower at the AOS is inseparably associated with the name of a talented plant breeder Vasily Ivanovich Shcherbina, who led the work on developing sunflower varieties resistant to broomrape race B and on increasing the oil contents of seeds. V.I. Shcherbina is the author of 14 sunflower varieties, of which sunflower variety Armavirsky 3497 was the most distinguished and occupied more than 1 million hectares of arable land.
The Siberian experimental station (SOS) of VNIIMK has been working on the border of the North Kazakhstab and Omsk regions for more than 50 years. It was established in 1960 to develop new varieties of oil crops adapted to the severe natural and climatic conditions of Western Siberia and North Kazakhstan.
The cultivation essential-oil crops in the North Caucasus began in 1927, and already in 1931 a state farm factory "Efironos" was established, which became base station of the Voznesenskaya experimental station of VNIIMK. As a result of testing of a large set of essential-oil crops, rose, lavender, clary sage and peppermint were introduced into production.
Currently, VNIIMK is a federal scientific center that, in addition to the central experimental station, also includes 4 branches: Armavirsky, Donskoy, Siberian, and Voznesensky.
The total area of farmland of VNIIMK system is 30 thousand ha, including 29.7 thousand hectares of arable land.
953 persons are working for the institute and its subordinate branches, including 275 people in the scientific sphere, 90 of which are researchers, including 17 doctors of sciences, 59 candidate of sciences, 4 experts, 13 research associates and 92 laboratory assistants.
The scientific researches of the institute have an integrated nature. The main areas of its activity include breeding and seed growing of oil and essential-oil crops, the development of technologies and means of mechanization for their cultivation and postharvest seed treatment.
The institute and its experimental network carries out breeders and foundation seed growing of released and promising hybrids and varieties of its own breeding, producing about 5 thousand tons of elite and reproduction seeds annually, including about 1.5 thousand tons of seeds of sunflower hybrids and varieties, and about 2 thousand tons of soybean seeds. In recent years, the production of oil flax seeds has been intensively carried out, which is caused by the growing demand from agricultural producers.