Quality-wise Prairie flax crop in good shape

CNS Canada – As the amount of flax grown in Western Canada remains in a steep decline, this year’s crop was pretty good in terms of quality.

“This year there are some visual black seeds in the crops, but it’s not that bad. It’s a pretty small amount, kind of negligible for the buyer,” said Mike Allaire, the senior commodity trader with Ilta Grain Inc. in Surrey, B.C.

He said the oil content in this year’s crop is between 42 to 45 per cent.

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Brian Johnson, general manager commodities for Johnson Seeds in Arborg, Man., said as well the quality of flax this year has been very good.

“Before the rains we had this fall and the bad weather, probably 35 to 40 per cent would be classified as excellent. The rest is good. It may not be suitable for the high end edible market, but it is definitely of a very good quality,” Johnson said.

He added that some of the later seeded flax suffered from some frost damage.

“The overall harvest is probably almost complete. It was a godsend the weather we got in mid-September onwards as only 50 per cent of the crop had been harvested at that time,” Johnson said.

Allaire said this year’s crop is one of the smallest he has seen at less than 500,000 tonnes, which is less than half of what he has witnessed before.

He said the price for flax is holding at $13 per bushel delivered Saskatchewan plant.

Much of the Canadian crop is being shipped to China and the United States.

“The U.S. had a very small crop this year, they’re buying a lot from Canada. In my opinion we’ll be sold out by the new crop,” Allaire said.

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