Our hardworking grad students Sienna Tinsley, Christine Sprunger and Nikhil Jaikumar were able to present their preliminary data and results they have collected regarding perennial grains to the group. Throughout the field day, farmers were encouraged to interact with the grad students to learn more and ask questions regarding the growing promise of perennial grains. With this, the farmers were able to evaluate the potential crops for their needs. Though we haven’t reached our goals with perennial grains yet, we were able to leran more about about the research that’s being done and discuss potential outcomes for such crops.
Author: Sieglinde Snapp, Steve Culman, Lee DeHann, John Green, Stephen Jones, Janet Lewis, Vicki Morrone, Dan Rossman, Martin Nagelkirk, Scott Swinton, Sienna Tinsley, Anne Weir
Affiliation: Michigan State University, Michigan State University Extension, The Land Institute, and Washington State University Abstract: A new perennial crop is being explored for opportunities on organic and sustainable farms. The overall goal to grow this crop is to improve farms and protect the environment (Glover et al., 2010). Successful establishments crop requires it to be replanted only once in three years (see figure below). As a perennial crop, it provides greater soil coverage and an extensive rooting system, compared to an annual grain. These factors are the foundation for building soil in organic farming. The perennial wheat team integrates the work from plant breeders, economists, cropping systems scientists and ecologists with farmers and Extension educators to identify useful plant lines and management approaches with the greatest potential for success in a Upper Midwest organic farm systems. The team has set a goal to find stable varieties within five years, depending on plant regrowth and seed production. We are evaluating this crop for multiple uses including grain, forage and environmental services. Source: pwheat.anr.msu.edu/upload_max_filesize=32m/2012/01/pwheat-extension-poster1.pdf