Quality of western Canadian flaxseed 2015

Weather and production review

Weather review, seeding and growing conditions

The climate across the Prairies was quite varied throughout the 2015 growing season. Seeding began by the end of April and approximately 85% of the crop was seeded by mid-May. Drought like conditions was reported for most of the prairies, during the growing season, mostly in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Precipitation then drastically increased near the end of the harvest season. Approximately 90% of the crop was harvest by the middle of October.

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.

Sources: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Crop report, Saskatchewan Agriculture, Crop report, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

Production and grade information

Western Canadian farmers seeded 665,000 hectares of flaxseed in 2015 (Table 3), which is an increase compared to 2014 (628,000 hectares). The 2015 yield estimate of 1,500 kilograms per hectare was higher than the yield reported in 2014 (1,400 kilograms per hectare) and higher than the 10-year mean of 1,367 kilograms per hectare. Western Canada flaxseed production increased by 70,400 metric tonnes from last year’s 871,700 thousand metric tonnes. In Manitoba, production decreased to 71,100 metric tonnes, but increased in Saskatchewan to 787,000 metric tonnes and in Alberta decreased to 84,000 metric tonnes when compared to 2014 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 2015 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
2015 2014 2015 2014 2005-14
thousand hectares thousand tonnes thousand tonnes
Manitoba 51 36 71.1 78.7 113
Saskatchewan 567 546 787.4 706.0 556
Alberta 47 46 83.8 87.0 46
Western Canada 665 628 942.3 871.7 736