Multi-State Project Champions Kernza
Expanding the scope of Kernza is the aim of a multi-state coalition. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison are part of the coalition to expand the research, production and commercialization of Kernza, a commercial perennial grain harvested from new varieties of intermediate wheatgrass.
The coalition recently was awarded a five-year, $10-million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant is available through the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems program.
The perennial provides several years of harvestable grain. It has a deep root system that improves water and soil quality and reduces soil erosion. Research has shown it can decrease inputs and costs from reduced tilling, pesticide requirements and nutrient runoff, according to the coalition.