Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2013

Weather and production review

Weather review, seeding and growing conditions

The weather played an important role in providing a good quality crop. April temperatures were 4 to 5 degrees lower than average, which delayed seeding for about 2 to 3 weeks when compared to last year. The majority of seeding was completed by late May early June.

Cooler temperatures in midsummer helped to increase oil content in the developing seed. A warm September and the absence of frost allowed crops to fully mature.

About 90% of the harvest was completed by mid-October.

A cool growing season in the summer with average precipitation and a warm fall provided ideal conditions for a good quality harvest.

Production and grade information

Western Canadian farmers seeded 418,000 hectares of flaxseed in 2013 (Table 3), which is an increase compared to 2012 (397,000 hectares). The 2013 yield estimate of 1,700 kilograms per hectare was higher than the yield reported in 2012 (1,300 kilograms per hectare) and higher than the 10-year mean of 1,260 kilograms per hectare.

Western Canada flaxseed production (712,000 metric tonnes) increased by 223,000 metric tonnes from 489,000 metric tonnes in 2012 (Table 3). Flaxseed production decreased in Manitoba to 54,000 metric tonnes, but increased in Saskatchewan to 584,000 metric tonnes and in Alberta to 74,000 metric tonnes when compared to 2012 production values (Statistics Canada). Saskatchewan accounted for 82% of flaxseed production while Manitoba and Alberta had 8% and 10%, respectively.

Over 97% of the samples received for the 2013 Canadian Grain Commission Harvest Survey were graded as Flaxseed, No.1 Canada Western.

Table 3 - Seeded area and production for western Canadian flaxseedFootnote 1
Province Seeded area Production Average production
2013 2012 2013 2012 2003-2012
thousand hectares thousand tonnes thousand tonnes
Manitoba 34 63 54 66 133
Saskatchewan 348 314 584 381 540
Alberta 36 20 74 42 35
Western Canada 418 397 712 489 708