Perennial Wheat Research at KBS PDF Print E-mail

Close_up_Perennial_wheat Steve_in_Perennial_plots

Post Doc Steve Culman explains the importance of Perennial Wheat Research to Journalists.


Michigan State University-Kellogg Biological Station under the direction of Dr. Sieglinde Snapp, Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, has received a USDA Organic Research and Extension Grant to partner with farmers to develop perennial wheat (Triticum aestivum x Thinopyrum intermedium). Perennial wheat is a new type of crop – it is not expected to replace annual wheat but to provide a complementary option for farmers seeking longer-term ground cover and a specialty grain crop.

The research is in the early stages, but perennial wheat lines have been identified (from Washington State University and the Land Institute in Kansas) and are in the process of being screened in Michigan, for the ability to produce marketable grain and to regrow year after year. The next stage will be to work with organic farmers to assess the most promising lines. It will take time before seed is available from initial screening, but on-farm testing will be the next step.

We anticipate that selected perennial wheat lines will offer an alternative crop rotation for organic farmers and create a niche market for unique wheat flour, and possibly a ‘dual use’ crop that can be grazed.  Building soil organic matter and a healthy soil food web are other benefits anticipated from this new crop.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 July 2011 17:39