Category: Flax

Easier Straw Management a Priority as SaskFlax Focuses on Seed Over Fibre

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 »

Flax Acres Are Up, But Could Be Even Higher

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 »

Unlocking Flax’s Yield Potential — Can Yields be Increased by 30 Percent in the Next 6 Years?

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 »

A Few More Flax Acres Expected for ’15

Strong new crop prices for flax are expected to drive acres higher again in 2015. “The economics of flax currently make a lot of sense. There are a number of new crop bids in the $12.50 (per bushel) range. Compared to other crops that’s quite profitable, and compared to history that’s quite profitable, so I… Read more »

Why #GaryinGeneva Matters — Connecting with Canada’s Overseas Customers

Panel thus morning about Grain Strategies exchange rates, freights, GMO’s, all in buying decisions #GaryinGeneva pic.twitter.com/UItItUj3Hb — Gary Stanford (@senatrstanford) November 13, 2014 Many in Western Canada may be surprised to learn that the Triffid flax fiasco of 2009 is still weighing heavily on the minds of some European customers. That’s according to Gary Stanford,… Read more »

This Week on Real Ag — COOL Ruling, Cool Biobeds & is Flax Cool Again? — Oct 23, 2014

Canadian cattle and hog producers welcomed the World Trade Organization’s ruling on country of origin labeling (COOL) this week. On this week’s ag news podcast, Kelvin Heppner and the Real Ag team discuss the slow process of resolving the COOL dispute through the WTO, as well as A&W’s new chicken requirements, research to keep farm… Read more »

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… Read more »

$3M for Flax Research Coming From Federal Government

The federal government has committed $3 million to the Flax Council of Canada for research in flax genetics and agronomics. Winnipeg MP Joyce Bateman announced the investment in Winnipeg this morning. “Creating new flax varieties and improving agronomics will increase producers’ profitability and allow processors and exporters to continue selling a high-quality product around the world,”… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep.16: The Ins and Outs of Intercropping

I’ve seen my share of unintentional intercrop — lentils and mustard that just HAD to grow together, I guess (I call that one ‘lustard’) — but did you know there may be very profitable reasons to intentionally grow two crops on the same land in the same year? While intercropping is not rare on a… Read more »

Agronomy Geeks West — Ep. 10: Get More Out of Your Input Dollars & Tips for Specialty Crops

Contrary to what it looks like outside my window right now, it is officially spring. Eventually the snow will recede and the warmth will return and the ice and frost will disappear just long enough to eek out another crop from the prairie soil (apparently I wax poetic after 5 full months of winter). When… Read more »

Treat Flax Right — This Crop Responds to Management

Flax — it’s beautiful to look at in the field, healthy to eat in your cereal but a pain in the butt to coax real production out of. Or is it? Dr. Paul Dribnenki, a former flax breeder and current consultant, challenges farmers to begin really understanding and managing this crop to get the most out… Read more »

Who is FMC, Weed Control in Flax and Launch of CropConnect – Brad Ewankiw

At CropConnect 2014 I ran into Brad Ewankiw who is working with FMC in Manitoba. Brad and I chatted about FMC, the potential growth in flax acres for 2014 and his first impressions of CropConnect 2014 in Winnipeg.   I have known Brad for quite some time and its great to finally get him on… Read more »

Flax (Officially) Lowers Cholesterol — Why This is Great News for Farmers

Health Canada announced this week that products containing ground or milled flax may now sport a shiny new health claim on the label — that consuming milled or ground flax has been proven to lower levels of blood cholesterol. Elevated blood cholesterol levels have been identified as a major risk factor for developing heart disease…. Read more »

Flax Fertility and Fungicides: An Update from IHARF

Though we have yet to see prairie flax acres meet the pre-2009/pre-CDC Triffid-incident era, the purple flowers are making a steady return to our landscape. With this return comes an increasing interest in the plants agronomics. Typically seen as a fairly low input crop, flax certainly still requires nutrition and Chris Holzapfel, research manager at… Read more »

Flax-Fed Cows: Increasing Polyunsaturated Acids in Beef

A few weeks ago, I visited Mike Dugan, meat lipid scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to ask about feeding flax seed to pigs to increase omega-3s in pork, and thus diversify the consumer base.  But, one may ask, where’s the beef? Well, a current study at the Lacombe Research Centre in Alberta is looking at feeding… Read more »