Great.com Interviews The Land Institute About Developing Crops to Feed Us Sustainably
Emil Ekvardt from Great.com interviewed The Land Institute as part of their ‘Great.com Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work is making a positive impact on the world.
Seventy percent of the calories we consume come from grain crops. But the way these grains are cultivated is currently unsustainable, and we risk damaging the land we rely on for food. Rachel Stroer discussed perennial agriculture and the importance of natural solutions that prioritise healthy, nutrient-rich soil.
What is perennial agriculture?
In a monoculture, farmers grow one crop and harvest it yearly. Not only does this system require the heavy use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, but frequent tillage causes soil erosion and degradation. Rachel explained that perennial crops don’t need to be tilled or killed off because they remain productive for longer. This helps regenerate soil naturally.
The Land Institute has set up New Roots International to share research on perennial grain crops and scale up international collaboration. Recent work has shown that it’s possible to grow perennial grain crops that also produce a high yield.
Listen to the whole interview to find out how perennial agriculture can benefit farmers, the environment and the consumer. You can also learn about grains The Land Institute has already developed, including Kernza®, a deeply-rooted multifunctional wheatgrass.
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