Kernza® Agronomics

One arm of our research program is to determine agronomic practices that maximize Kernza® grain yield. The following is a list of experiments. Click on the links to learn more about each experiment.

  • Nitrogen fertilizer rates: What is the optimum nitrogen fertilizer rate for maximizing grain yield?
  • Row spacing: What is the optimum row spacing to maximize short-term and long-term grain yield?
  • Legume intercropping: Can we intercrop legumes into Kernza® fields to replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer? Do legumes provide other benefits to Kernza® production, such as preventing yield declines with stand age?
  • Lodging prevention: Can we use plant growth regulators to shorten Kernza® stem height and prevent lodging?
  • Stand maintenance: Without any intervention, Kernza® grain yields decline after a few years of production. What can we do in the field to prevent grain yields from declining with stand age?
  • Harvest timing and techniques: To swath or not to swath, that is the question. When is the optimum time to harvest Kernza® so that it is dry enough to safely store after harvest but not too dry that it shatters before harvest?
  • Defoliation: Can Kernza® biomass be harvested in the spring and fall for forage? How does forage cutting affect subsequent grain yields?
  • Grazing: Can Kernza® stands be grazed in the spring and fall, and how does grazing affect subsequent grain yields?


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