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Developing Perennial Grains. Lee DeHaan The Land Institute. No-till cropland Central Iowa J. Scheibel 2013. 2.8 cm of soil loss reduces productivity by about 7%, due primarily to loss of water infiltration, water holding capacity and nutrient supply Pimental et al. 2004.

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Developing perennial grains

Developing Perennial Grains

Lee DeHaan

The Land Institute


No-till cropland

Central Iowa

J. Scheibel 2013

2.8 cm of soil loss reduces productivity by about 7%, due primarily to loss of water infiltration, water holding capacity and nutrient supply

Pimental et al. 2004





168 florets

105 florets

50 florets


Kernza plots in Michigan nearly eliminate leaching of nitrates into the ground water.

Organic fertilizer system has less leaching, but the annual wheat still “leaks” much more than the perennial Kernza.

Nitrate concentration in water below the root zone (mg/L)

Culman et al. 2013



Ray florets per head:

  • 2006 average= 30, max = 42

  • 2008 cross >45; 2010 cross if > 60;

  • 2012 average = 52, max = 164


Silphium integrifolium

Helianthus maxamiliani


Sorghum halepense

Sorghum bicolor


Perennial rice
PerennialRice

  • Soil erosion in uplands of southeast Asia has been a serious problem that led to the project of developing perennial upland rice at IRRI (IRRI 1989)

Upland Rice in Yunnan, China



Yields of PR 23 perennial (ratooning) rice over 3 harvests (2 years)



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