Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

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Ranch Musings: Perennial Cereals and Their Potential to Heal

Publication: The Williams Lake Tribune

Author: David Zirnhelt

I was excited to read that intermediate wheatgrass is now approved for human use in the U.S.

This report is featured in the New Seed Variety Guide for 2021 put out by the Western Producer, Canada’s preeminent farm newspaper.

Now if you are a cattle producer you might know about this crop as a cattle feed, mostly as a grazing plant.

If you have had an eye on innovation in agriculture then you might know about the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, or the more recent Minnesota Land Institute that launched a commercial variety which has been under development for 20 years.

The variety recently released for sale is a human food grade called MN Clearwater. It is promoted as “superfood with environmental and health benefits.”

As ranchers and farmers, we are always looking for better nutrition for our animals and as consumers we are all looking for nutrient dense foods since the industrial system of food productions often reduces the nutrient content, especially the micronutrient (essential for health) content.

I have written before about the Land Institute in Kansas and its leadership in developing crops that don’t need to be seeded every year (annuals) with all the attendant costs of farming the land: plowing, disking, harrowing, seeding etc.

In a nutshell what the Land Institute in Kansas and their Minnesota partners aim to do is to advance perennial (lasting many years without reseeding) grains and polycultures (many crops all sewn together).

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