Kicking off Kernza

Back in October, my partner Hannah Rodgers and I applied for a Western SARE Professional+Producer grant under P.I. Professor Jay Norton, one of Hannah’s PhD Advisors, along with several farmers across eastern Wyoming, with the goal of evaluating the potential benefits for perennial grains in Wyoming, and hopefully adopting them as a commercial crop in the future. We are excited to announce that a couple of weeks ago, we were selected to receive funding after months of plaanning and hoping! It’s our first funded grant, so it’s all very exciting, but there’s a lot more work to do now that we have our funding.

Now that all of the seed for the project has been ordered, the next order of business for me is to figure out how to set up and install the equipment that I need. Primarily, I’ll be setting up an eddy covariance tower and a bunch of other soil sensors and weather stations. I’ve done that in national forest land before, but doing so in an active farm field will be another challange. Specifically, I’ll have to figure out a way to install soil sensors so that they don’t get destroyed when the soil is tilled in the annual wheat fields.

We’re both extremely excited to kick off this project, as it marks the beginning of our personal research as PhD students.

You can read our full proposal and application materials here on the SARE website.

Alex Fox
Alex Fox
Hydrologic Science PhD Student

PhD student in Hydrologic Science. I study technology and models needed to measure ecosystem function, and how to scale between individual plants and whole ecosystem behavior.