Perennial Staple Crops

What are Perennial Staple Crops?

Perennial crops provide more food than annual crops, while fixing significant amounts of carbon and often nitrogen. Their more substantial roots can reach down to the water table, giving them greater drought resistance. These fruit and nut trees grown in the tropics provide valuable nutrition but are not suitable for commercial production and shipping to overseas markets. As a result, these trees have largely been removed to allow large-scale cultivation of grains and other field crops.

Application Status in Alberta

Alberta farmers would benefit from perennial crops. However, to date, no significant species have been found that can flourish in our extreme weather. Extensive research continues to develop a perennial wheat variety that has comparable yield. Significant concern has been expressed that this would lead to the cultivation of much of Alberta’s remaining native grassland.

Some non-food trees and fruit bushes could increase the soil’s carbon level while improving the adjacent crops. These opportunities are known as Tree Intercropping.

This solution has significant application only in tropical regions. [1]

Overall Solution Priority for Drawdown Alberta



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Last updated on August 5, 2022
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