A preliminary look at factors affecting fiber content of oilseed flax on the prairies
The fiber content of oilseed flax straw has a very significant impact on the profitability of processing it into added value products. To date, there has been almost no published data on how flax straw fiber content varies in Western Canada and what factors are influencing this variation. In 2001, the bast fiber content in the straw from 16 oilseed flax varieties grown in replicated plots at 11 widely separated sites in Saskatchewan were compared as was the bast fiber content from three other sites where three oilseed varieties were grown in replicated plots with two seeding dates, three seeding rates and three nitrogen fertilizer rates. Many of the locations experienced the driest weather in the last 100 years and hence plant height, seed yield and fiber content were generally lower than normal. There were statistically significant differences between most of the locations and often between varieties at the same location. Some agronomic practices also had significant effects on fiber content. We do not know how much bias and misleading information was generated by the dry conditions. We must continue this type of study if we expect profitable flax straw processing plants to set up on the Prairies.
oilseed flax straw
adding value to flax straw
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