Sustainability in the fields
Walking through an established field of mature plants, the perennial wheat grass Kernza® stands about chest high above the soil. The roots can extend 10 feet or more beneath the soil surface, more than twice the depth of annual wheat, enabling the roots to capture carbon and water, while preventing soil erosion. In good conditions, the long, slender seed heads can contain more seeds than an annual wheat head. Kernza seeds are currently about one-fifth the size of most conventional wheat seeds.
Although intermediate wheatgrass was consumed in ancient times, new varieties of Kernza can enable farmers to grow the grain profitably at scale and bring its environmental benefits to modern farms and diets. Current research reveals that Kernza grows best in cooler northern latitudes, although it is being tested in various climates across the United States. Based in Salina, Kansas, The Land Institute developed the registered trademark for Kernza grain to help identify intermediate wheatgrass grain that is certified as a perennial using the most advanced types of T. intermedium seed.