Flax – Golden

$1.43 per lb.

Bulk Discount Pricing

2 - 9 lbs.
$1.28 / lb.
10 - 19 lbs.
$1.14 / lb.
20 - 29 lbs.
$1.00 / lb.
30 - 39 lbs.
$0.85 / lb.
40 - 49 lbs.
$0.71 / lb.
50+ lbs.
$0.57 / lb.

Flax can be utilized in many small grain and corn rotations as a potential cover crop or fiber/oil crop. Compared to other common crops, overall nutrient demand is lower and very little nitrogen is needed. Vegetative growth normally requires 50 days before flowering occurs but after this flowering can last 2-4 weeks. Flax can be utilized as a green manure if terminated early enough but take caution if attempting to cut too late as lignin/cellulose content increase with maturity and would hamper decomposition. Nearly 95% of the water flax extracts from the soil is in the top 2-3 feet because of its shallow root structure. Water use is considered moderate with respect to other field crops, but flax uses about 3-4 inches less than soybeans. This is primarily due to the fact that the leaves of flax are generally numerous but leaf area is limited and thus ET is lower. As mentioned before, this species is an excellent companion crop next to other species in an early season mixture. Flax is generally a self-pollinated crop but pollinating insects are attracted to the various blue/purple colors of the flowers. Because flax is a broadleaf species, most diseases associated with it will not transfer over and cause infection to corn, soybeans, or wheat with the exception of powdery mildew and rhizoctonia after legumes.

 

Basic Info

Maturity
90-120 days
Seeds/lb
83,050
C/N Ratio
20-50:1
Growth Habit
Erect
Winter Hardiness
Tolerates Light Frost

Use

Flax is considered an excellent companion crop to help establish small seeded grasses and legumes. Because flax has relatively short growth height with one primary main stem, leaf area is less extensive and therefore allows adequate sunlight to reach smaller sized companion plants. Additionally, early maturity and smaller rooting zone size reduces high water use rates. With this species moderate water use and short growth time, it has found most of its use in northern states of the U.S. However, flax is beginning to pick up some popularity as a fiber crop in some southeastern states such as North and South Carolina. Producers have found that they can harvest flax earlier than wheat which allows more flexibility for a subsequent full season crop later on. If you are looking for a companion crop to add into your mixture or are just looking for a new species in your rotation, flax fits this role very well. This species can also be used to: 1) increase plant and insect diversity; 2) bring nutrients back to topsoil and; 3) fill short growing niches with limited water use.

Nitrogen Fixing Potential
0-N/A
N Scavenge
6
Dry Matter
2,000-3,000
Lasting Residue
10
Erosion Control
6
Traffic Bearing
1
Grazing Potential
1
Forage Harvest
1
Root Type
Branching Taproot
Soil Builder
7
Cash Crop Interseeding
5

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Advantages

Flax can be utilized in many small grain and corn rotations as a potential cover crop or fiber/oil crop. Compared to other common crops, overall nutrient demand is lower and very little nitrogen is needed. Vegetative growth normally requires 50 days before flowering occurs but after this flowering can last 2-4 weeks. Flax can be utilized as a green manure if terminated early enough but take caution if attempting to cut too late as lignin/cellulose content increase with maturity and would hamper decomposition. Nearly 95% of the water flax extracts from the soil is in the top 2-3 feet because of its shallow root structure. Water use is considered moderate with respect to other field crops, but flax uses about 3-4 inches less than soybeans. This is primarily due to the fact that the leaves of flax are generally numerous but leaf area is limited and thus ET is lower. As mentioned before, this species is an excellent companion crop next to other species in an early season mixture. Flax is generally a self-pollinated crop but pollinating insects are attracted to the various blue/purple colors of the flowers. Because flax is a broadleaf species, most diseases associated with it will not transfer over and cause infection to corn, soybeans, or wheat with the exception of powdery mildew and rhizoctonia after legumes.

Subsoiler
1
Surface Compaction
7
Rendering P & K
5
Traffic Bearing
1
Nematode Control
8
Disease Control
1
Allelopathic Effect
1
Weed Control
3
Short Growth Time
3

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Disadvantages

Flax planted alone does not offer as much above ground biomass/residue as other cover crops and often has problems with erosion control. As such, weed control can also be a significant problem as emerging weeds can often get ahead of the crop and out compete flax for sunlight and water. Although the potential for weed problems of volunteer flax in subsequent crops is low, if the prevailing crop is a broadleaf, control may be very difficult. Volunteer flax usually does not result in reduced yields but can cause significant harvest problems as plants can remain green after crops reach maturity. Generally insignificant crop pests of flax, insects such as grasshoppers, aphids, tarnished plant bugs, aster leafhopper and a variety of cutworms are attracted to such fields and may survive or feast on plant material until the next crop. Flax is not recommended for haying/grazing as it is high in prussic acid, especially right after a frost. This species does not perform well after potatoes or sugar beets as disease issues and loose topsoil can cause problems. Disease transfer is usually not an issue but diseases such as Aster Yellows, a viral disease transmitted by aster leafhoppers, is one of the most serious disease issues and can also occur in crops like canola and sunflower. Crinkle is another disease caused by a virus that can also occur in oats, wheat, and barley. Seedling blights, root rots, Fusarium Wilt and Pasmo, are other diseases of flax. If planted with or after a mustard or canola crop, growth may be limited as allelopathic chemicals inhibit and slow plant growth.

Weed Potential
3
Potential Insect/Nematode Risk
3
Crop Disease Risk
3
Effect Cash Crop
1
Ease of Establishment
2
Ease of Till-Kill
3
Ease of Chem-Kill
3
Ease of Mow-Kill
1

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Planting

Flax, like many other small seeded crops needs to be planted shallowly into a firm and moist seedbed. Broadcasting is generally not recommended as seeding depths and emergence are uneven and inconsistent but is still an option. Flax isn't very competitive in early growth stages so your mixture needs to allow enough canopy room for this species to express itself. Research out of Canada has indicated greater yields and less water applications with no till compared to conventionally tilled flax fields. Germination typically takes 5-10 days depending on environmental conditions. Emergence will occur in 7-10 days with early plantings but can also take up to 2 weeks in colder weather. Flax takes about 13-16 weeks to fully mature. Flax is commonly utilized in spring fallow mixtures for its ability to contribute lasting carbon and biodiversity.

Ideal Planting Time
Early Spring -August
Ideal Planting Depth
3/4 - 1 1/4"
Min Germination Temp(F)
45
Drilled Seeding Rate (lb./A)
30-50
Broadcast Seeding Rate (lb./A)
55-60
Reseeding Potential
Possible

Tolerance

Although adapted to many climates and soils, flax does best in well drained, loam to clay soils with high water holding capacity. Unless irrigated, flax does not perform very well in coarse-sandy soils. In areas of fields that are poorly drained or that often flood, flax will almost entirely be killed. This species also has fair tolerance to salinity but will not perform very well under very high soluble salt concentrations. Flax does not need as much fertility as other cereal crops and grain crops and generally does better on medium fertility fields. Being fairly drought tolerant, this species can survive better than many commercial crops that may be struggling during the heat, especially under no till where residue is reducing evaporation. Seedling growing points, unlike cereals, are fully exposed above the soil line and are more vulnerable to spring frosts. Seedlings have been observed to withstand temperatures down to 27F for a few hours. Seedlings with 2 leaves can withstand lower temperatures around 18F for a short period without noticeable damage. Although flax can withstand low temperatures and some frost, it will winterkill with cold enough temperatures.

Heat
3
Drought
6
Shade
4
Wet Soil Tolerance
1
Low Fertility
3
pH
5.0 - 7.0

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent