New Demand and Investment in Agronomic Research Drive Excitement Around Flax


The darkest days in the flax industry are in the past and the future is looking bright, according to the head of the Flax Council of Canada.

There’s excitement surrounding flax, with new and more-diversified demand, stronger prices and a  renewed effort to improve agronomic aspects of flax production, says Don Kerr, the new president of the flax industry organization.

In 2008, the Canadian flax sector suffered a major blow when Europe — by far the largest customer at the time — closed its border to Canadian flax after discovering traces of a genetically modified variety known as Triffid. By implementing testing protocols and reconstituting the seed supply, the industry is now moving out of Triffid’s shadow.

“We’ve put that behind us. Now we’re in a position to really focus on some of the other issues, and hopefully bring yields forward, increasing them to help producers and provide better returns,” says Kerr in the interview posted above.

The federal government on Thursday announced a $3 million investment in the Flax Council for research to improve genetic and agronomic practices. Kerr says they hope this work will boost flax yields, and result in farmers adding flax back into their rotations.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Please register to read and comment.


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.