The Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission has hired its own agronomist to support flax growers in the province.
Michelle Beaith joined SaskFlax as of Monday.
“Having a flax agronomist will be hugely beneficial to our organization and to flax producers,” says Wayne Thompson, executive director for SaskFlax, in a statement. “Michelle will be able to help us identify, address, and direct research towards the major production issues for growing flax. She will also be able to communicate the most up-to-date flax agronomy information and management practice knowledge with producers, to help us meet our overall goal of building a strong and competitive flax industry.”
Beaith has worked in oilseed breeding since 1995 with Pioneer Hi-Bred, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Performance Plants, Dow AgroSciences and CPS. She was the flax breeder for Crop Production Services in Saskatoon from 2012 to 2015.
The Flax Council of Canada previously provided agronomic support to growers, after hiring agronomist Rachel Evans in 2015, but the council closed its office and let its staff go at the end of January after one of its largest funders, Richardson, withdrew from the organization.
SaskFlax says the hiring was not linked to the Flax Council being without an agronomist, and that the organization had been considering adding an agronomist to its staff for over a year.