Increasing interest in the perennial cereal system

06 October 2020

The end of the season brought several visitors to Lönnstorp Research Station interested in the perennial cereal system, which is part of the SITES Agro-ecological Field Experiment (SAFE). An exciting activity in this context has been that this system was used for the production of a scene for the recording of a documentary about plant roots for the German 3Sat TV channel. The documentary will be aired in March 2021. The focus of the documentary will be on the root system of the perennial cereal intermediate wheatgrass, commercially known as kernza, in comparison with annual cereal root systems. The recording included the kernza harvest, a comparison of annual wheat vs perennial kernza roots, and an excavation of a soil profile in the kernza crop. The soil profile showed that the roots of the perennial cereal reach deeper soil layers than the annual cereals. This trial system will be kept for teaching purposes and to present to visitors of the station. The documentary will also include an extensive interview with the researcher, and former SITES station manager, Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson. We are looking forward to see the final result!

Additionally, the journal ATL Lantbrukets Affärstidning visited the station, to record a late harvest in the kernza strip. This report includes the first semi-commercial field of kernza in Sweden. Once again, Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson was interviewed since she is the station´s specialist in the topic - read more here.

“We are really happy that this new concept of perennial cereal is gaining interest and different journalists are approaching us, so the general public is informed about our activities.” - Ana Barreiro (SITES Lönnstorp representative station manager)

Caption of the interview with Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson in front of the kernza crop field. Photographer: Ana Barreiro.

Detail of wheat (left) and kernza (right) plants, showing a remarkable difference in the root size. Photographer: Ana Barreiro.

Soil profile excavated in the kernza crop. Photographer: Ana Barreiro.