Kernza® has has a deep, dense root system that can serve as a temporary sink of carbon. When these roots die, some of the carbon can be converted to soil organic matter for longer-term sequestration. Because the Kernza® cropping system requires less tillage than most annual-based cropping systems, soil organic carbon can be better protected. Most of these processes and potential carbon outcomes depend on management techniques, soil, and climate conditions. With funding from the General Mills Foundation, we’re working to identify when, where, and how various carbon pools change in the Kernza® cropping system.
Here is a report on our Kernza® carbon project developed for the General Mills Foundation.