Key role in wheat quest
Kernza®, a perennial grain developed by the US The Land Institute, is another success story from the study and is now commercially available in a staged US release to a beer brewing company and select restaurants.
Mr Hayes said farming systems based on perennial cereal crops offer the potential to boost sustainability and increase flexibility for farmers by offering grain and grazing options.
“Perennial cereals could help farmers adapt and better manage climate variability. In marginal cropping areas, particularly in drought years, perennial wheat may allow farmers to vary their inputs, reduce costs and deliver environmental benefits,” he said.
Perennial crops can take advantage of out-of-season rain, which helps increase water-use efficiency, reduce soil acidification and salinisation and has the potential to reduce erosion.