Perennial Wheat (E3208)
Perennial wheat, a new crop under development at the time of this writing, has the potential to be used as a multi-purpose crop.
What is Perennial Wheat?
Perennial wheat, a new crop under development at the time of this writing, has the potential to be used as a multi-purpose crop. Farmers can grow it for grain and fodder as well as make use of its environmental benefits that reduce erosion and improve water quality (Glover et al., 2010). Plant breeders developed perennial wheat through several crosses with annual wheat (Triticum aestivum) and perennial grasses such as Thinopyrum intermedium (intermediate wheatgrass) and other species related to wheat. Researchers selected this new crop for its perennial growth habit and ability to exhibit grain characteristics similar to that of the annual wheat parent. Perennial growth habit refers to the regrowth of the plant at the crown for several years after grain is harvested, providing multiple grain harvests without having to sow each year. Perennial wheat is a non-GMO (genetically modified organism) developed through traditional breeding methods, with the majority of its genetic makeup that of annual wheat. Perennial wheat in the first year of growth (left photo) and regrowth (right photo) after harvest.