Perennial Grains for Food Security in a Changing World: Gene to Farm Innovations

Food Security and Sustainability
Sunday, 16 February 2014: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Regency D (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Farmers, particularly those on small land holdings in developing countries, need more options to increase crop and livestock production while also supporting multiple ecological functions such as topsoil retention. These needs must be met under much more challenging circumstances than those under which yields were increased in the first ‘Green Revolution’, including rising input costs, diminishing water resources, increased climate variability, and degraded soil conditions. The development of perennial grain crops, such as wheat, sorghum, and grain legumes, has received widespread attention as a potentially transformative innovation that could be a keystone in solutions to these multiple challenges.

In this symposium, international experts report on advances in perennial grain crop development, from cutting-edge genomic innovations to on-farm, real-world results, showing how science is advancing this concept toward practical reality. Talks will cover the history of perennial grain crop development; recent genomic innovations relevant to perennial crop development; early successes in addressing food and ecosystem security issues in sub-Saharan Africa; relevance to climate change, livestock production, gender, nutrition, and natural resource management; and next steps and research needs to advance this work.

Jerry Glover, U.S. Agency for International Development
Sieglinde S. Snapp, Michigan State University
Jerry Glover, U.S. Agency for International Development
Sara Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners
Wezi Mhango, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Shrubby Pigeon Peas Transform Malawi Farming: 1st-Generation Perennial Grain Legumes
Sieglinde S. Snapp, Michigan State University
Next Steps and Research Needs in Perennial Grain Development
Andrew Paterson, University of Georgia; T. Stan Cox, The Land Institute; Michael J. Scanlon, Cornell Universit
Genomic Innovations for Next-Generation Perennial Grain Crops
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