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Flax research projects get $6M support


Saskatoon, SK – The Flax Council of Canada is receiving up to $5.9 million Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to help create new flax varieties and develop an improved method for flax seed testing.

The funding will go towards two initiatives:

– $4.0 million from the Developing Innovative Agri-Products program (DIAP) will help the Flax Council of Canada produce new herbicide tolerant Canadian flax to improve the performance of flax. Increased genetic diversity of flax will give growers across Canada another sustainable oilseed crop option, in turn increasing crop yield for export to world markets. Fortifying flax varieties to improve crop yield is extremely important in enhancing the Canadian flax industry’s long-term ability to supply world demand.

– Up to $1.9 million from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) will be used by the Flax Council of Canada to develop sampling and testing methods to identify the presence of genetically modified (GM) flaxseed in Canadian flax exports. Results will be used to assure global flax markets that Canada knows its crop and is in control of the quality of the flax delivered. In turn, this will serve to increase competitiveness in the flax seed industry.

“This is a very welcomed development for the flax industry. The support to develop an herbicide tolerant flax that will be accepted in all markets will be a major accomplishment,” said Barry Hall, Flax Council president and CEO.

Canada is the largest supplier of flax in the world, producing almost 50 percent of the world supply and 80 percent of world exports, with a farm gate value of $346 million in 2008.