Perennial grain crop – kernza – to be studied in Rice, Goodhue counties
One downside of our current production of grain crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and barley is that these crops are annual crops, meaning that they need to be planted each year. This also means that many of the fields where these crops are grown will spend at least some of the year with no plant cover protecting the soil from water and wind erosion.
According to researchers, a new perennial crop could solve those problems and provide farmers with grain and animal feed while also keeping the soil covered. Two farmers in the Cannon River Watershed are helping to study Kernza (an intermediate wheatgrass) this year.