Skip to content

The State of Kernza®

Kernza® goes to market

Kernza® grain has made its way into the commercial supply chain in niche markets with the goal of developing new varieties and growing methods that will enable widespread planting and use of Kernza® in commercial products. Four breeding programs are focused on selecting for a number of traits including yield, shatter resistance, free threshing ability, seed size, and grain quality.

If current progress is sustained, Kernza® seed size will be 50% as large as annual wheat seed in the next 10 years. Beyond that, breeders are working on developing shorter plants that are easier to grow with improved flavor and functionality. Although Kernza® perennial grain currently has low grain yields compared annual production, farmers and consumers can benefit from the ecological impact of producing and consuming Kernza® perennial grain today.

Breeding programs are diversified for U.S. regions and for global food production. In the long term, we will develop varieties that have yields similar to annual wheat, resulting in Kernza® grain produced at significant scale. Kernza® grain will have the largest impact when it is grown on millions of acres globally and is found in common staples available on grocery store shelves.

Where is Kernza®?

The Kernza® network is made up of farmers and researcher partners from 15 states and 10 countries who work together to understand and support Kernza® grain production.

Acres by State

400+

201-400

1-200

Acres by State Placeholder
Acres by State
State Details
California 1 Grower
58 Acres
University of California, Davis
Colorado 5 Growers
106 Acres
Colorado State University, NREL
Iowa 1 Grower
3 Acres
Illinois 7 Grower
87 Acres
Kansas 7 Growers
378 Acres
The Land Institute, Kansas State University, University of
Kansas, Natural Resource Conservation Service
Michigan 1 Grower
3 Acres
Michigan State University
Minnesota 36 Growers
681 Acres
University of Minnesota, Forever Green Initiative; Green Lands
Blue Waters
Montana 2 Growers
100 Acres
Nebraska 1 Grower
25 Acres
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
New Mexico 1 Grower
45 Acres
New Mexico State University
New York 5 Growers
26 Acres
Cornell University
Ohio 1 Grower
1 Acre
Ohio State University
Oklahoma 1 Grower
100 Acres
Indigo Agriculture
South Dakota 2 Growers
469 Acres
Wisconsin 8 Growers
259 Acres
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Acres of Kernza® Grain Nationwide

770

Organic

521

Transitional

734

Conventional

2025

Total Acres

Kernza® in Use

Kernza®’s unique flavor profile makes it an asset for the bakers, chefs, brewers, and distillers whose products are leading the way toward a new food system.

Patagonia Provisions’ Long Root Ale and Long Root Wit taste great and support Kernza® growers

Cascadian Farm’s limited release of Honey Toasted Kernza® Cereal is taking a bite out of climate change

Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis regularly features Kernza® in their menu items. Our favorites include pancakes and carmalita bars

Featured Products

Explore the Kernza® Network

100+ visionary farmers, 53 research partners, and dozens of makers are on the journey to a perennial future. Learn more about what they are doing and get connected via our Kernza® grain network.

The Road Ahead

From plant breeding to supply chains, Kernza® partners depend on research to develop a perennial future.

  • Soil carbon scientists are researching how much carbon Kernza® grain production can sequester.
  • New research is investigating malting Kernza® grain for brewing.
  • Kernza® grain sizes and yield are increasing with each cycle of selection in four core breeding programs.
  • A free-threshing Kernza® variety is on the horizon, making it easier for growers to harvest.
  •  Kernza® seed supply is gaining scale to allow more farmers to produce, matching supply to demand.