Welcome to Perennial Grains Blog Site



That root system represents something far bigger than itself: Soil health. Perennial plants build soil and protect against erosion in ways annual plants and their skimpy root structures simply cannot.

The Roots of Perennial Wheat

Find Kernza in Cereals and Snacks!

Click here to read the post.

Lemon poppyseed scone made with Kernza flour.

Breeding a Perennial Grain for the Pacific Northwest

Tritipyrum crosses at Mount Vernon Research Station in Washington State. Photo credit: Colin Curwen-McAdams

An interview with Colin Curwen-McAdams on their progress with breeding a perennial grain crop for the coastal Northwest and giving it a new name.  Read the post.

Kernza Research is in Full Swing at Cornell University

The Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab at Cornell University has been involved in perennial grains research for the past two years. Read about what they’ve been working on and the results of their research here.

Kernza at the Cornell Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora, NY. Photo courtesy of Sandra Wayman

Perennial Wheat: Updates from Italy
Find out more about recent and current work on perennial wheat being conducted in Italy.

Intermediate wheatgrass Kernza® established in the SITES Agroecological Field Experiment (SAFE) for long-term agroecosystems research in Sweden

Read about agroecosystems research happening in Sweden!

Kernza field in August 2015 at Lönnstorp, Sweden. Photo: Linda-Maria Mårtensson

Combating Climate Change with Perennials

Articles from National Public Radio and Christian Science Monitor feature Kernza and perennial grains and discuss their potential in agriculture in the face of climate change. Read the post.

Perennial Grains Activity in Australia
Check out recent work on perennial cereals in Australia and read about researcher Matthew Newell’s recent visit to the Land Institute.


Recently in CSA News…
An article discussing the promises and challenges of Kernza as a multipurpose perennial crop was recently published in Crops, Soils, Agronomy News magazine. Check it out!
csa-articleThe potential culinary uses of Kernza have been discussed in other articles recently as well. You can check them out here.

What is Perennial Wheat?

Perennial wheat lines are formed using the conventional breeding technique of selecting varieties of perennial wheat and crossing them with perennial rye. The goal is to achieve a crop that establishes well in the field while also producing a marketable head of grain. Please see the research poster Perennial Wheat: A new option for organic and sustainable farm systems, which provides an overview of research being conducted by the major institutions in this endeavor.
4 Seasons of WheatPerennial wheat is highly relevant to Michigan farmers, as well as other areas of the northern United States, because of its multi-season use, ability to prevent erosion and protect fragile soils, and longevity in terms of growth. The participation and support of farmers, such as through a willingness to test the crop in cultivated fields and share their experiences, is essential to the success and improvement of this crop.

Currently, there are over 100 lines of perennial wheat, however, only a handful of lines show promise to grow as a perennial crop. Ongoing efforts continue to make crosses in pursuit of hardy varieties of perennial wheat that thrive in many conditions. There are many answers to be found, and more questions to be asked, regarding perennial wheat:

  • Field Establishment: Is perennial wheat able to compete with weeds? Can it grow with other crops?
  • Regrowth: Since it is a perennial, can it withstand temperate winters and produce growth the following season?
  • Grain usage: Is the grain of a food-grade flour quality?
  • Stalk and stover: Is the quality adequate as animal feed?
  • Processing: Can the grain be hulled and cleaned to a millable quality?

Perennial Wheat Fields at KBS

This blog is a place for the Perennial Wheat Team to share resources with one another. Please share your research, academic, and educational materials with others in the field through the Perennial Wheat blog. Please email blog administrator Vicki Morrone and comment on others’ posts.

 Michigan State University|Kellogg Biological Station | Washington State University | The Land Institute |

Wagga Wagga Institute | US Dept. of Agriculture | University of Manitoba