Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2014

Weather and production review

Weather review, seeding and growing conditions

The climate across the Prairies was quite varied throughout the 2014 growing season. April temperatures were 4 to 5 degrees lower than average, which delayed seeding for about 2 to 3 weeks. The majority of seeding was complete by early June.

Precipitation also drastically increased in June, and there was localized flooding in some of the important flax growing regions such as southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan. While Manitoba and Saskatchewan received a lot of precipitation, some areas in Alberta had drought-like conditions. Harvest was also delayed due to excess moisture. The majority of the harvest was completed by the 3rd week of October.

Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Production and grade information

Western Canadian farmers seeded 628,000 hectares of flaxseed in 2014 (Table 3), which is an increase compared to 2013 (418,000 hectares). The 2014 yield estimate of 1,400 kilograms per hectare was lower than the yield reported in 2013 (1,700 kilograms per hectare) and higher than the 10-year mean of 1,323 kilograms per hectare. Western Canada flaxseed production increased by134,000 metric tonnes from last year’s 712,000 thousand metric tonnes. In Manitoba, production decreased to 53,000 metric tonnes, but increased in Saskatchewan to 706,000 metric tonnes and in Alberta to 87,000 metric tonnes when compared to 2013 production values. (Statistics Canada) Saskatchewan accounted for 84% of flaxseed production while Manitoba and Alberta had 6% and 10%, respectively.

Over 98% of the samples received for the Canadian Grain Commission’s 2014 Harvest Sample Program 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
2014 2013 2014 2013 2004-2013
thousand hectares thousand tonnes thousand tonnes
Manitoba 36 34 53 54 118
Saskatchewan 546 348 706 584 510
Alberta 46 36 87 74 40
Western Canada 628 418 846 712 668