How to grow Kernza in Ohio (and why)

Discover the new crop called Kernza when CFAES researcher Steve Culman presents “Organic Perennial Grain Crops for Grain and Forage” during the upcoming annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

How to grow it, how to help study it

Kernza is a “novel perennial grain being developed for more sustainable agricultural systems,” the description for Culman’s workshop says. Kernza “can be harvested for both grain and forage and has the potential to provide a range of environmental benefits”—including requiring less tillage and being a net sink for atmospheric carbon.

The workshop will share practical information on managing Kernza and will tell you about opportunities to conduct simple Kernza research trials on your farm. The trials are part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture project trying to optimize Kernza management for organic growers.

Culman’s workshop takes place Friday, Feb. 12, from 10–11 a.m. online. The OEFFA annual conference, Ohio’s largest such event dedicated to sustainable agriculture, runs from Feb. 10–15 online. Included among its 60-plus speakers are 10 from CFAES and Ohio State. The deadline to register is Monday, Feb. 8.

Learn more about the conference and register.

CFAES research

Culman is an assistant professor in the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources. He’s also state fertility specialist with OSU Extension, CFAES’ outreach arm.

Read a 2018 post about Culman’s work with Kernza. Learn more about his research on perennial grains.

Watch a 2019 PBS Newshour story on Kernza above.

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