Flax growers in Western Canada and North Dakota who have historically sold straw to Schweitzer-Mauduit International (SWM) are now scrambling to find a market for their straw. The Georgia-based company, which has processing facilities at Winkler and Carman, Manitoba, is planning to cease its flax straw operations by the end of 2021. As a result,… Read More

Flax Council of Canada recently announced they have developed a new business plan, focused on market access activities and encouraging new memberships. Wayne Thompson, chief executive officer of Flax Council of Canada, recently joined Kara Oosterhuis to talk about the issues facing the flax industry and how the updated plan will breathe new life into… Read More

Any flax producer knows that the biggest challenge to growing the crop is the long, fibrous residue left behind. The following seeding season, these long-stem fibres — also known as shive — get wrapped around discs, wheels, or seeder-shanks. It’s known as “the straw problem” according to the former Flax Council of Canada, and it… Read More

Farmer directors representing five Manitoba producer organizations have completed a proposal to amalgamate into a single, new not-for-profit organization focused on research, communication and market development. The five groups looking to form one organization are: the Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA), Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA), National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC), Manitoba Wheat and Barley… Read More

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… Read More

The Flax Council of Canada has announced that it’s closing its doors at the end of the month, citing the need to reduce costs. After 32 years representing the flax industry nationally, the organization’s executive committee says it decided to close the Flax Council’s office when it became apparent that a new combined oilseed council… Read More

When it comes to flax, farmers want to see two things: higher yields and easier straw management, says the chair of the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission. While flax grower organizations have invested significant resources over the last few years in researching agronomic practices for higher yields, Erwin Hanley, who farms south of Regina, says they’ve realized they also… Read More

The number of flax acres in Western Canada will likely be up this year, but it’s looking like it might not be as high as many analysts and people in the flax industry were expecting. According to Statistics Canada’s planting intentions report released last month, farmers in Western Canada are planting 1.63 million acres of… Read More

After three decades of fairly stagnant yields in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a renewed focus on agronomic practices with flax could unlock higher yields, says a former flax breeder who now works as a research consultant for the Flax Council of Canada. “I think that flax has been undermanaged to some degree, even with fertility,” says Paul Dribnenki in the… Read More