Seeding New Landscapes: The Kernza Story
Kernza is one of only a handful of new grain crops introduced in the last several thousand years.
It’s the product of years of plant breeding at The Land Institute, an independent, nonprofit research institute in Salina, Kansas. The Land Institute, a recent McKnight grantee, envisions developing an array of perennial grain crops that could be planted in mixtures to mimic native prairies. If the effort is successful, Midwest agriculture could feed consumers while generating clean water and healthy soil. For now, Kernza is the only commercial release, and the institute and its partners are continuing to develop and breed the crop to thrive in modern agriculture. That means boosting yields, increasing seed size, and bolstering Kernza’s resistance to disease.