Moisture is an ongoing issue for Canadian prairie farms. Without it, farmers are forced to irrigate – an unsustainable solution – or risk losing their entire crop. So, it’s no wonder researchers look to alternative crops that require less water and have deep roots to pull ground water from if needed. That’s the impetus behind the development of Kernza, a perennial grain plant with roots up to 10 feet long. It provides year-round ground cover, keeping soil stable below and above ground so it doesn’t erode into nearby waterways. Used for forage, ground into flour for baking, or as a feedstock in beer, this could be the next ‘it’ crop for Canada.

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