Four new flax varieties will be on the market for 2019, three varieties from SeCan that were developed through the Crop Development Centre (CDC), and one variety from SeedNet that came out of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s breeding program.
For now, breeding programs at Agriculture Canada and Viterra have slowed to a halt, so we can’t expect new varieties from these channels in the near future. However, Wayne Thomson, executive director of the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission, says farmers can look forward to more new flax varieties from the CDC in the coming years.
“Dr. Helen Booker has a really good flax breeding program at the University of Saskatchewan,” Thompson says. “The breeding program at the CDC is and continues to be a strong program that is providing varieties that will be of interest to farmers.”
Next year, Thompon says, SeCan is expected to release CDC Rowland. “It’s going to move the needle on potential yields, a good yield jump compared to CDC Bethune.”
You’ll notice that two of varieties on this list are yellow flax. For growers considering these yellow varieties, Thomson cautions, “Yellow seed is an important market for farmers, but it’s not a significant portion yet.”
Here are the four new flax varieties available for 2019.
CDC Buryu is a high-yielding brown seeded flax that is best suited to the long season areas of black and dark brown soil zones where it averaged 108 per cent of CDC Bethune.
AAC Bright has a bright yellow seed coat that makes it well suited for the food market as the whole grain or ground flax can be incorporated in higher levels of food products while maintaining a light colour. AAC Bright yields 94 per cent and is two days later than CDC Bethune.
AAC Prairie Sunshine is a brown seeded flax with strong straw best suited to the long season/ high production areas of Western Canada. AAC Prairie Sunshine yield is 105 per cent of CDC Bethune.
CDC Dorado Yellow Flax yields similar to AC Nugget (high in the grey and black soil zones), and has a maturity one day less than Flanders. It is immune to flax rust, and rated MR to wild and powdery mildew. This variety has a higher oil content, linoleic acid and meal protein than Flanders and a larger seed size than Flanders.