Perennial Wheat Crops Provide Positives for the Future of Farming
Looking toward the future of agriculture in America, experts say planting self-sufficient perennial crops may be the best way to make farms more ecologically friendly while also turning a profit.
Some area farmers were introduced to the benefits of Kernza, a trademarked perennial grain crop, during a presentation at Richland Community College on Aug. 9. The Kansas-based Land Institute has worked to develop and domesticate wild perennial plants since 1983, and Kernza is in the first stages of being commercialized — the first perennial grain crop to do so.
“We are very early here and there’s a long road to travel to get Kernza up to the point yield-wise and agronomic care-wise to get it where it needs to be,” said Fred Iutzi, president of The Land Institute, during the presentation. “But Kernza is now not a wild plant and a dreamed about crop. It’s a crop at the early stage of its development.”