ALERT – Increase of flax acres warrants extra caution to ensure integrity of seed supplies

May 11, 2017 Flax News, Media Release 0 Comments

Winnipeg, Manitoba (May 11, 2017) – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 2017 Seeded Acreage Report estimates a 21% increase in both Saskatchewan and Alberta flax acres, bringing seeded acres up to an estimated 1.1 million from 935,046 acres in 2016. Considering these predictions, combined with poor harvest conditions and lower acres in 2016, the Flax Council of Canada is issuing this cautionary notice:

If you choose to plant your own farm saved seed, we strongly encourage producers to test your farm saved seed prior to planting to maintain the integrity of the seed supply. Flax producers were instrumental in the elimination of Triffid from the system, but it is critical that producers continue to use a known source of Triffid-free seed.

Reminder that most new flax varieties are protected by Plant Breeders’ Rights – this means they can only be sold by an authorized retailer.

Certified seed is still in good supply.

If you are returning to flax, start back with high quality certified seed. There are many advantages such as:

Bin-run vs. Certified Seed

  1. Traits. Using certified seed ensures the genetic purity of the traits of that particular variety. If seed is saved year to year it can eventually dilute the sought-after characteristics of that variety.

  2. Weeds. Using certified seed ensures strict standards for the kind and amount of weed seed that can be in certified seed.

  3. Germination. If you are using farm saved seed, a vigour test from a qualified seed lab can provide a better indication of in-field germination than a germination test alone. Certified seed follows germination standards and will have a test prior to sale.

  4. Storage. Storage and heating of flaxseed can cause deterioration of the germination potential, so testing prior to seeding is important.

  5. Pre-harvest / Desiccants. Do not use seed that has been treated with glyphosate preharvest due to reduce germination. Certified seed is not permitted its use. In contrast, Reglone® (diquat) has not been shown to negatively affect seed germination.

  6. Re-constituted Varieties. Use re-constituted (Triffid-free) certified flax varieties developed by the CDC, or certified varieties developed by CPS and AAFC. Note that if the seed in the bin is older than 2014, a Triffid test should be conducted.

If you are looking for flaxseed to plant in the 2017 crop season, check with your local SeCan, FP Genetics, Alliance Seed or Proven Seed representative, or your local Provincial Seed Guide.

For more information on the re-constituted seed program, click here

For more information on considerations for seeding in 2017, click here

For more information, please contact:

Rachel Evans, M.Sc., P.Ag
Extension Agronomist
Flax Council of Canada

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