Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2020

Weather and production review

Weather review, seeding and growing conditions

According to the province’s crop reports, Manitoba’s seeding was delayed due to excess soil moisture, making it difficult for farmers to bring in their seeding equipment. Seeding was completed by the first week of June. There was adequate heat and moisture for the majority of the growing season. By the third week of October, 98% of the harvest was completed.

As stated in the Saskatchewan crop reports, 94% of flax was seeded by the end of May - early June. The Saskatchewan growing season had adequate heat, but it struggled at times with precipitation. This resulted in the reduction of top soil moisture. The majority of flax was harvested by the first two weeks of October.

In the Alberta crop reports, data shows 98% of flax was also seeded by the end of May - early June. Seeding was slightly delayed due to the overwintering of the 2019 crop as producers still had to harvest the crop from the previous summer. Excessive moisture throughout the growing season affected the quality of some of the crops. As of July 14, 82.9% of the flax crop was rated in good condition and by the third week in October, 98% of the flax was harvested in Alberta.

Production and grade information

Western Canadian farmers seeded 376,000 hectares of flaxseed in 2020 (Table 3), which is the same seeded hectares as 2019. The 2020 yield was estimated to be 1,560 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha). Flaxseed production for the 2020 harvest was 577 000 metric tonnes, which is an increase from 2019 (483 200 metric tonnes). Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw an increase in production, while Alberta saw a slight decrease. Saskatchewan accounted for 78.5% of flaxseed production, while Manitoba and Alberta’s production was 7.9% and 13.6%, respectively.

Over 95% of samples received through the Canadian Grain Commission’s 2020 Harvest Sample Program graded as Flaxseed, No. 1 Canada Western at the time of the quality analysis. Lower grades were primarily due to weather damage, which contributed to low test weights.

Table 3 – Seeded area and production for western Canadian flaxseedFootnote1
Region Seeded area Production Average production
2020 2019 2020 2019 2010 to 2019
thousand hectares thousand tonnes thousand tonnes
Manitoba 26.5 35.2 46.0 42.3 59.1
Saskatchewan 310.3 294.4 453.1 359.2 474.4
Alberta 39.3 46.4 78.6 81.7 65.0
Western Canada 376.0 376.0 577.7 483.2 598.5
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