Projects

Study of the viability of a new eco-sustainable cereal

Project funded by the Generalitat de Catalunya within the framework of the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020

Kernza
Kernza (Thinopyrum intermedium) is a perennial grain crop currently being developed at the Land Institute (Kansas, USA) and can be used for dual purposes, forage and grain, in the same year.
  • Total project budget: 68.832,17€

  • Start Date: 01/07/2021

    End Date: 30/06/2022

Conventional agricultural practices, such as irrigation and the use of chemical herbicides, and the ecological impacts of global warming may affect crop productivity and reduce the area available for agriculture in the near future. Recently, perennial crops have been shown to provide a widespread increase in several key ecosystem services compared to annual crops.

Kernza (Thinopyrum intermedium) is a perennial grain crop currently being developed at the Land Institute (Kansas, USA) and can be used for dual purposes, forage and grain, in the same year. This type of double harvest can increase yield compared to just one (grain) crop, with the same growth by the roots. It is considered a very interesting crop given its characteristics, such as: the ability to combat weeds, fix carbon (C) and reduce leaching and runoff. Evaluating its potential in the conditions of Catalonia, as well as estimating the final value of harvested product (both fodder and grain), and its potential for application to the food sector (which is of great interest), can generate interesting synergies not only among members of the task force, but also throughout the territory.

The objectives of the project are to evaluate the productive potential of perennial wheat (Kernza) in the conditions of Catalonia, as well as the quality of the grain for the production of flours for human consumption. Similarly, it is intended to assess the exploration capacity of the Kernza root system to estimate its environmental potential, both in C fixation and in its possible contribution to the reduction of nitrate leaching to groundwater. At the same time, the optimal flour technologies for obtaining “Kernza” flour will be explored and, finally, the quality of the flour and its incorporation in different agri-food products will be evaluated.

 

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Project funded through Operation 16.01.01 (Cooperation for Innovation) through the Rural Development Program of Catalonia 2014-2020.

Order ARP / 133/2017, of 21 June, approving the regulatory bases for aid for cooperation for innovation through the promotion of the creation of operational groups of the European Association for Innovation in matter of agricultural productivity and sustainability and the realization of innovative pilot projects by part of these groups, and Resolution ARP / 1531/2019, of 28 May, by which summons the mentioned help.