For agriculture in climate change this wheatgrass lasts longer
German newspaper Mittelbadische Presse interviewed researcher Frank Rasche from the Institute for Tropical Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim. The professor has been researching Kernza perennial grain for a number of years – including as part of a European Union project with scientists from seven countries across EU, in which the University of Hohenheim is playing a leading role.
The interest of agronomists in Kernza is mainly due to a characteristic that distinguishes this crop from most other arable crops: it is a perennial plant that does not need to be reseeded every year. “This brings with it a whole range of advantages,” says Rasche. Depending on the location, a Kernza field can be used for between two and seven years.
If the farmers do not have to drive across the fields every year to till the soil, they save fuel, seeds, and time. However, another aspect is also important in times of climate change: if the soil does not have to be tilled as often, less water is lost through evaporation. In addition, the soil is better protected against erosion due to the constant vegetation.