Flax TIPS: Variety selection for 2017

April 11, 2017 0 Comments

1. Which variety should I grow?

Revised April 20th, 2017

Variety selection should be based on a number of factors that may include regional performance, lodging resistance, maturity, disease resistance, seed size, height, seed availability and commercial opportunities. In 2018, CDC Glas will replace CDC Bethune as the benchmark for yield comparison, marking a move towards achieving higher yields by the flax industry. For yield trial data comparisons, it is important to note which varieties are statistically significantly different to the check variety.

Table 1. Top 5 Flax Varieties Grown on the Prairies in 2016¹
Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta²
CDC Bethune 17,749 ac CDC Bethune 117,964 ac CDC Glas 12,887 ac
CDC Glas 12,553 ac CDC Sorel 89,510 ac CDC Sorrel 6,485 ac
CDC Sorel 10,698 ac CDC Glas 18,756 ac Prairie Sapphire 5,944 ac
Lightning 6,960 ac AAC Bravo 18,311 ac Hanley 3,079 ac
Hanley 2,745 ac Westlin 70 10,236 ac CDC Sanctuary 2,459 ac

¹Data sourced from Provincial Crop Insurance Yield Reports.

²Variety includes both irrigated and dryland acres.

Although CDC Bethune remains the most popular (Table 1), some of the newer varieties may offer advances in terms of regional yield performance, earlier maturity, plant height (straw management) and lodging resistance (Table 2). All Canadian flax varieties are similar in oil quality and are moderately resistant or resistant to fusarium wilt. The exception is VT50, a NuLin® variety from CPS that has higher omega-3 content for specific markets (http://provenseed.ca/flax/vt50/).

The best resource will be your Provincial Seed Guide, which contains variety evaluation trials across different locations within each province.

Table 2. Flax varieties that are earlier maturing, shorter in height and lodging resistance.
Earlier Maturity (+/- 102 days) Shorter Height (+/- 27 inches) Lodging Resistance (Very Good)
CDC Plava (-2) Hanley (-2) Hanley
Hanley (-2) Lightning (-2) VT50
Prairie Grande (-2) VT50 (-2) Prairie Blue
WestLin 60 (-1) Prairie Grande (-4) WestLin 72
Prairie Thunder (-3)
WestLin 71 (-2)
WestLin 60 (-2)
CDC Plava (-1)

3. Are there any new varieties?

Commercially available in 2017.


    • 106% grain yield of CDC Bethune across all zones in the western coops
    • 2 days earlier maturing than CDC Bethune across all zones in the western coops, best suited for shorter growing season zones.
    • Resistant to flax rust and moderately resistant to fusarium wilt
    • 1 cm shorter than CDC Bethune
    • Seed size similar to CDC Bethune and protein similar to the checks
    • Weaker straw strength compared to CDC Bethune
  • WESTLIN 72

    • Yield (108% of CDC Bethune)
    • Maturity (+3 days of CDC Bethune)
    • Shorter stem height
    • Good lodging resistance

Below are the varieties to be approved through the Variety Registration Office (VRO) between Nov. 1, 2015 and Nov. 15, 2016. Select and Foundation seed will be in production in 2017.

  • CDC BURYU (FP2316) Brown variety

    • Significantly out-yields (105% of CDC Bethune) in all zones.
    • Similar maturity to the check (107 days).
    • Large seed size, similar oil content but greater protein than check.
    • Lodging and disease resistance similar to checks.
  • CDC MELYN (FP2429) Yellow variety

    • Significantly out-yields (105% of CDC Bethune) in the brown soil zone of Western Canada and statistically equal to check in all other zones.
    • Similar maturity (105.9 days) to the check.
    • Smaller seed size, significantly higher oil content and protein than checks.
    • Lodging and disease resistance similar to checks.
  • CDC NEELA (FP2314) Brown variety

    • Registered in 2013, it has yield potential (105%) comparable to CDC Bethune
    • Medium oil (46.5%) and ALA (60.7%) content, slightly larger seed size than CDC Glas (6.0 g TSW)
    • Maturity rating equal to check
    • It has a disease rating of immune to flax rust and MR to fusarium wilt.
    • Certified seed is available through Canterra Seeds.
  • WESTLIN 60 (FP2388) Brown variety

    • Yields similar to CDC Bethune in short season zones.
    • Similar lodging resistance as check.
    • Significantly shorter stem heights compared to ‘CDC Bethune’ and ‘CDC Sorrel’.
    • Reddish brown seed colour whereas the seed is light to medium brown for ‘CDC Sorrel’ and light brown for ‘Flanders’.
    • Smaller seed size, similar oil content and quality as checks.
  • AAC PRAIRIE SUNSHINE (FP2357) Brown variety

    • Significantly out yields (105% of CDC Bethune) in the Black and Grey Soil Zone (Longer Growing Season) while yielding similarly to CDC Bethune in all other zones in western Canada.
    • Longer maturity (2.8 days later than CDC Bethune).
    • Improved lodging resistance, similar seed size and similar disease resistance as checks.
    • Significantly higher oil content, higher oil quality, lower alpha-linolenic acid and higher protein content in the meal than checks.

Commercially available in 2019-2020.

  • FP2513 Brown variety

    • Yield was significantly greater than CDC Bethune for all growing zones: 1. longer growing season black and dark grey soil zone (117% of CDC Bethune); 2. Brown soil zone (116% of CDC Bethune); and 3. Shorter growing season black and grey soil zone (105% of CDC Bethune).
    • Significantly larger seed size, higher iodine value, higher linolenic acid content, similar protein but lower oil content to the check.
    • Lodging resistance significantly better than the check.
    • Later maturing (106 days) than the check (103 days).
  • FP2342 Yellow variety

    • Released in 2016 is the CDC’s second high omega-3 yellow linseed line successful supported for registration in Canada.
    • Yield equal to AC Nugget across Western Canada with a yield advantage over AC Nugget (>7%) in the longer growing season of the black and dark grey soil zones of the Prairies coupled with a maturity rating less than Flanders.
    • Disease ratings are immune to flax rust and MR to wilt.
    • Medium oil content (45.2%) and seed size with a TSW of 6.0 g equal to CDC Bethune.
    • At 64% ALA, this line has the highest ever ALA content of any line released by the CDC.
    • This line will be distributed by SeedNet Alberta.

4. Where do I find seed?

Seed growers are listed in your provincial seed guides.

To find a seed grower in Alberta, please visit: http://seed.ab.ca/find-seed/find-a-seed-grower/

To find a seed grower in Saskatchewan, please visit: http://www.saskseed.ca/images/seed_guide2016.pdf

To find a seed grower in Manitoba, please visit: http://www.agcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/SMB151210.pdf

Below is a list of seed distributors by variety:

AAC Bravo FP Genetics NuLin VT 50 CPS/ Proven Seed
AAC Prairie Sunshine SeCan Prairie Blue SeCan
AC Emerson SeCan Prairie Grande SeCan
CDC Bethune SeCan Prairie Sapphire Alliance Seed
CDC Buryu SeCan Prairie Thunder Canterra Seeds
CDC Glas SeCan WestLin 60 CPS/ Proven Seed
CDC Neela Canterra Seeds WestLin 70 CPS/ Proven Seed
CDC Plava SeCan WestLin 71 CPS/ Proven Seed
CDC Sanctuary SeCan WestLin 72 CPS/ Proven Seed
CDC Sorrel SeCan Lightning Canterra Seeds
Hanley SeCan

5. Are there any varieties being deregistered?

Somme, Flanders and CDC Arras will no longer be registered flaxseed varieties as of August 1st, 2017.


For more information:

For variety information in Manitoba, please visit:


For variety information in Saskatchewan, please visit:


For variety information in Alberta, please visit:


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