Agro-ecological prospects of the perennial grain crops use in Ukraine and abroad
Introduction. Food security and agriculture are turning into an era characterized by scarce and depleted resources, climate change, and price volatility. Modern agrarian technologies require excessive consumption of water, synthetic pesticides, mineral fertilizers, produce increased CO² emissions, disrupting natural biological processes.
In contrast, perennial grain crops, unlike annual ones, can improve soil structure, are resistant and adapted to pathogens, pests and climate change, mitigate anthropogenic consequences and have significant potential as a food and feed crop. Perennial grain crops are an alternative to the paradigm shift in agriculture because they have considerable potential for integrating into production systems.
Topicality of the theme. Climate change has led to problems related to the stability of agriculture, raising concerns about the future of global food security. Therefore, the global goals of transforming the world include: hunger extermination and development of agriculture, climate change mitigation, affordable and clean energy. In 2018, 42 of Europe's largest agricultural areas can be found in Ukraine - 35.9 million hectares of which over 14 million hectares are occupied by traditional crops, but according to the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) in 2018, Ukraine is ranked only 63rd among 113 countries.
Nowadays, research on the creation and study of technologies for growing and using perennial crops is being conducted in the world: wheat, rye, sunflower, rice, sorghum, which can become an economic and environmental alternative in agriculture.
The purpose of the study is to theoretically substantiate the agro-ecological prospects of growing and using perennial wheat, taking into account their ecological and biological characteristics, as an alternative to traditional grain crops in Ukraine.
Material and methods. Common scientific methods are used: analysis, synthesis, induction and deduction, abstraction and generalization. Literary sources from the chosen field of research served as the material.
Results. Perennial cereals, as an alternative to traditional cereals, have been widely studied throughout the world for a long time. The result of these studies is the creation of hybrids of perennial grain crops Kernza® and Owl. Potential for the use of perennial grain crops, both present and in the selection process, is not fully disclosed, but at this stage it is possible to clearly identify the directions of their use: obtaining organic products, through the use of soil potential, features of the root system of perennial grain crops, resistance to pathogens and pests, droughts and freezing temperatures; in the food industry for the production of bread, confectionery, flakes, pasta, beer, alcoholic drinks; in the medical industry for the manufacture of biologically active additives with high lutein content, as a carotenoid important in the prevention of the eye, heart, mammary glands diseases, strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of cancer; in fodder production the inclusion of grain as a high-protein component in the feed ration of livestock and poultry, for the production of green mass, hay, for grazing; inclusion of perennial grain crops in the form of green mass or hay in the list of renewable plant raw materials for biogas production.
Conclusions. At the present stage of development, perennial grain crops can become a source of organic production due to the features of the root system of plants, resistance to pathogens and pests, drought and sub-zero temperatures.
They are an alternative to traditional grain crops and have prospects for use in various industries, such as food, medical, feed and biogas.
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