Home » Kernza Perennial Grain: Sustainable by Design

Kernza Perennial Grain: Sustainable by Design

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 7:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101
Lee DeHaan, Lead Scientist, The Land Institute


For 10,000 years, humans have been looking to grain crops to keep us fed. Now that grain production fields occupy the majority of arable land on the planet, we hope that grain fields will provide more than just food. Clean water, greenhouse gas mitigation, wildlife habitat, and improved soil quality are some of the functions society would like to see in modern grain production. Achieving these functions requires the invention of entirely new crop species that will live for years rather than months. Long-lived grain crops with large roots present in the soil year-round offer the opportunity to achieve high productivity and conservation at the same time. One of the first of these new crops, called Kernza, is now hitting fields and markets. Dr. Lee DeHaan has led the development of this new crop, the first perennial grain in 10,000 years. He will report on its current state of development and plans for the future.