Global collaboration on high-yielding perennial rice heralds new possibilities for grain production
Published: April 4, 2023
Category: Regenerative Agriculture
Interest in developing and testing perennial grain crops has grown exponentially over the last decade. Recently, a new report in Nature Sustainability introduced a high-yielding perennial rice with impressive environmental and economic potential. Conceived by researchers in China’s Yunnan Province in 1999, the project has been aided by expertise and funding from nonprofit The Land Institute and a global research network.
Perennial crop expert Jerry Glover said, “This research marks a distinct new line of possibilities for global food production from the nearly 10,000-year single-track reliance on annual grain crops.”
Annual grain crops account for 60-80% of global farmland—and 70% of humanity’s food calories. Rice alone is consumed by 4 billion people. But producing annual grains brings huge environmental and financial costs, requiring increasing inputs of synthetic chemicals, fossil fuel energy, and labor.
“Since perennial rice can produce yields over eight consecutive harvests… this is direct evidence that developing perennial versions of grain crops is feasible,” says Lee DeHaan, lead scientist of the Kernza® project at The Land Institute. The Institute joined Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS) and the International Rice Research Institute in 2007 to develop a hybrid cross between annual, cultivated rice and a perennial rice cousin from Africa.
Perennials’ advantages over annual rice crops include long-lived production (more consecutive harvests from a single planting), comparable yields, carbon sequestration, savings on labor and inputs, and improved farmer livelihoods.
Source: The Land Institute
To view source article, visit: https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/11/16/2557319/0/en/New-High-Yielding-Perennial-Rice-Sees-Sustainability-Success-Catalyzed-by-Global-Collaboration-and-Knowledge-Sharing-Approach.html
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