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Saskflax: Re-constituted flax seed ready to launch this fall

October 3, 2013 – Harvest is now under way and the final steps for the re-constituted seed process will be handed from seed growers to flax producers to flush any traces of Triffid from their farms and the industry – once and for all.

Photo: Todd Hyra spoke to flax growers at the Flax Field Tour in Indian Head this summer.

“I am very proud of the cooperation and communication during every stage of the re-constituted seed process” stated Todd Hyra, Business Manager, Western Canada for SeCan.

Industry participants (Crop Development Centre, the Flax Council, SaskFlax, Manitoba Flax Growers, Canadian Seed Growers and SeCan) have been working since fall 2009 to launch Certified seed of re-constituted flax for spring 2014. This fall, SeCan seed growers will harvest re-constituted seed supplies of four varieties: CDC Bethune, CDC Sorrel, CDC Sanctuary and CDC Glas. CDC Glas is seen as a replacement for CDC Bethune. It offers improved standability and a 105% yield advantage in the black soil zone (103% average of CDC Bethune over all zones). CDC Sanctuary is viewed as a replacement for CDC Bethune in the brown soil zones, averaging 105% of CDC Bethune in the dryer areas of the Prairies.

All SeCan seed growers agreed to dispose of previous stocks of CDC Bethune and CDC Sorrel so that only seed lots originating from re-constituted seed are available for 2014 and into the future. It was important to start with a zero source seed supply with the re-constituted seed. But just as important has been the process for multiplying the seed. SeCan growers, in cooperation with the Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA), agreed to additional certification requirements, including extended crop rotations and restricted use of seeding, harvesting and processing equipment.

Seed customers looking for a re-constituted seed supply are encouraged to ask their seed supplier for a “Re-constituted Flax Seed Certificate”. This is a declaration made by the seed grower, verifying that the seed lot originated from re-constituted Breeder seed and that the necessary steps were followed to keep it clean. All re-constituted seed can be traced to the original re-constituted Breeder seed lots.

Hyra stated, “We will have approximately one-third more Certified seed than we had last year – which is great. But if demand is strong for flax in 2014, we may still sell out.” Flax producers are encouraged to speak to their seed retailer as early as possible to reserve their seed supply. “If you are not able to secure adequate seed for 2014, supplies will be larger again for 2015. The sooner everyone moves to the re-constituted stocks, the sooner we can put Triffid behind us.”

Hyra expects the price of re-constituted seed to be in line with Certified seed of other varieties. Flax producers may ask – if I move to re-constituted seed will I still have to test for Triffid? The short answer is yes. But longer term, we hope that as the frequency of positive tests moves closer to zero, the requirement for testing every lot of seed and grain will be relaxed.

For a list of SeCan members growing re-constituted flax seed or for more detailed variety information, visit Flax producers that utilize flax varieties from other sources (ie, AAFC, Viterra) in their operations are encouraged to buy certified seed in 2014. This seed has not tested positive for Triffid, so re-constituting the seed was not required .

For more information, contact:

Todd Hyra, Western Business Manager
Tel. (204) 489-9126

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