Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

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Researchers Hope Grazing Can Increase Yields of New Grain Crop

Publication: West Central Research and Outreach Center

Author: Andrea Johnson

Many consumers are looking for alternative foods that taste great, are healthy and help improve soil health.

Because of this great interest, researchers are studying Kernza®, a new perennial grain crop. They want to see if this crop offers something that consumers will buy while hopefully providing profitability and benefits to farmers and ranchers.

“The seed is really long and looks like a wheat…it can be used for many different products on the market, breads, beer,” said Brad Heins, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.

Kernza is trademarked by The Land Institute of Salina, Kan., and is an intermediate wheatgrass. In 2009, Kernza domestication was a part-time project of one The Land Institute scientist. It showed amazing potential, and the project was assigned to Lee DeHaan, Ph.D. at the institute in 2010. He accelerated domestication work and began working with other research institutions around the world.

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