In a time where our climate is changing, resilient crops become more and more important – crops that can stand longer periods of rain and drought. This is why we are developing perennial cereals, multi-year crops that can be harvested year and year.
Perennial cereals have become more frequently discussed, and there are now on-going research projects aiming to produce perennial wheat and barley that can be grown here in Sweden.
Perennial cereals have many benefits. They have sturdy root systems that can handle different types of weather, that increase carbon capture, and that facilitate the crops’ nutrient uptake in the soil. The root system also makes it easier for the crops to reach water and therefore handle droughts better. Perennial cereals also demand less soil cultivation which reduces the farmer's energy consumption as well as reduces the risk of nutrient leakage and soil compaction. This way, perennial cereals can contribute to reducing climate impact.
Lantmännen's research on perennial cereals is conducted within the research program AquaAgri, together with SLU, Mistra and Formas. The research will take approximately another 10-15 years and will contribute to farming better fit to meet the future climate. One of the big challenges ahead is to adapt the perennial cereals to our Nordic climate, so they can resist the cold and hibernate.