Kernza® is a sod-forming intermediate wheatgrass with very deep roots growing to a depth of over 10-feet tall. The grain is a cousin of annual wheat, which has been growing throughout the United States for decades for livestock feed. With this new grain, it is being domesticated as a grain for human consumption in things such as bread, beer, flour, and baked goods.
Conservation Benefits of Kernza®
Nitrate leaching from crop fields to groundwater pollutes drinking water supplies and threatens human health.
Due to Kernza®'s deep roots, those living roots can capture excess amounts of nutrients that would otherwise end up in local bodies of waters. Having excess nitrates in groundwater can cause health problems and treatment for drinking water is extremely expensive.
By reducing nitrate leaching, can help keep farmland in production, provide wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and much more.
"Something New to Study" - Published By County Acres Newspaper
"Developing a Crop to Clean Water" - Published by Country Acres Newspaper
"New Kind of Wheat Shows Promise for Cleaning Nitrates from Soil, Water" - Published by Star Tribune Newspaper
Kernza® History in Stearns County
20 acres near the City of Cold Spring was planted into Kernza®
First year's crop was harvested, yielding 527 pounds of seed per acre
Awarded the Phase 1 LCCMR grant, Accelerating Perennial Crop Production to Prevent Nitrate Leaching, totaling $440,000 over two years.
37 more acres was planted near Cold Spring with an additional 10 acres adjacent to the City of St. Cloud wastewater treatment plant
Awarded the Phase 2 LCCMR grant, Long-Term Nitrate Mitigation By Maintaining Profitable Kernza Production, totaling $485,000
Funding for this project
was provided by the
and Natural Resources
Trust Fund as recommended
by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).