Researchers at The Land Institute reported about a crop with very small cereal grains but seems to be immortal, giving hope to the future of agriculture.
The crop, known as Kernza, is a hybrid derived from wheatgrass. It was developed by scientists to withstand the drastic effects of climate change. It is a perennial grain, which does not need to be replanted after harvest season, because the plant can regrow repeatedly while its roots grow deeper under the ground. This helps decrease soil carbon emission which occurs during harvesting and sowing of seeds.
To date, Kernza is planted on 500 hectares of land in Kansas. A food corporation made a breakfast cereal prepared from Kernza and also providing funding to Land Institute for large-scale production of the cereal crop. Another international company brewed a new kind of beer using Kernza. Food hubs in the U.S. are also using Kernza flour for pasta, bread, and pizza and the consumers' feedback is favorable.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)