Kenza is a cereal grain developed over 40 years by researchers at the Land Institute. With deep roots and highly evolved survival traits, its benefits include reducing erosion and helping to retain organic matter and nitrogen in the soil.
Farmers and academics at the University of Minnesota's Forever Green research program have been collaborating on Kernza development, looking for ways to improve yields and other desirable characteristics finding its way into the marketplace in several forms, with a new product from food giant General Mills launched in 2017.
Does Kernza perennial grain, a relative of wheat, represent a whole new type of perennial staple crop that could help to increase soil health and support regenerative agriculture?
Yields are still lower than standard wheat varieties, but General Mills recently donated $500,000 to the research project Forever Green, to improve them.