Fields of the future: Perennial grains promise viable yields and soil conservation
Special Bonus Page. Reprinted with permission. Picture this: You’re a wheat grower from Kansas or Washington, or maybe a flax producer from Minnesota. When spring comes, your crops — like the native plants of the prairie — grow unbidden from the fields. They demand little work from you other than harvesting. Such a vision seems too good to be true, but it’s exactly what some plant breeders are working toward. While the commercial availability of seed could be as long as 25 years in the offing, agronomists have developed varieties of perennial grains that are overwintering vigorously and promising the potential of viable seed yields.