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Perennial Wheat research shows promise for sustainable farming

Posted by Steve Davy on June 11, 2009

Dr. Sieglinde SnappMichigan State University researcher Dr. Sieglinde Snapp is hoping her work on Perennial Wheat at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station might offer farmers a new sustainable way to harvest wheat.

Snapp isn’t the only one. The Associate Professor of Crop & Soil Sciences was just informed her Perennial Wheat research is going to be funded with approximately a $1 million over the next four years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Perennial Wheat close upPerennial wheat is different than annual wheat harvested by the majority of farmers. It’s actually a cross between annual wheat and several perennial relatives.

Perennial wheat plants differ in one significant from annual wheat in that they live for several years. Annual wheat is planted and harvested every year which can lead to soil erosion and other damage to the land caused by fertilizers and weeding required for cultivation.

Another reason Perennial wheat is an intriguing field of research is that it contains more protein and micro-nutrients than annual wheat.

WilkePerhaps the real question is, how does Perennial wheat taste? Brook Wilke, one of Snapp’s graduate student research assistants,  decided to bake some cookies using Perennial wheat to find out. According to Snapp and Wilke, it’s basically the same. Others in the research lab thought it was a little nuttier.

In the video below, Snapp and Wilke explain the research and discuss the potential of Perennial Wheat.


For additional information on Snapp’s Perennial Wheat research click here.


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