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The small plot flax trials at Darkan, Wagin and Kojonup are all on the verge of bursting into full bloom. The time of sowing (TOS) 1 plots seeded on the 29th and 30th of May are ahead on maturity with the variety Glenelg coming into flower first. This is a white flowering variety which tends to yield slightly higher than Croxton but is more susceptible to Fusarium oxysporum which causes Fusarium wilt in susceptible flax varieties. Croxton a blue flowering flax is a Fusarium wilt resistant variety.

TOS 2 seeded on the 12th and 13th of June and TOS 3 seeded on the 25th and 26th of June are forming buds and will not be far behind in coming into flower. The flax plants in the TOS 3 plots are still quite short being on average around 10cm tall and with the onset of flowering it will be interesting to see if stem growth stops. This may be a determining factor as to the time of seeding required for both the Croxton and Glenelg varieties.

In this growing season to date, we have not had any insect or disease issues at any of the flax sites. Moisture stress is becoming apparent with theses early hot spring days and with little rain forecast we may have the opportunity to see how the flax copes with a dry finish. This is not ideal for the trials, however if it will provide valuable information as to the potential fit of these two varieties into the WA agricultural regions with our somewhat unreliable rainfall events.

The Kojonup trial site on Rachael and Andrew Plowman’s property was one of the stops on the Spring Field Day tour. Dr Sarita Bennett from Curtin University presented at the site. It was the first opportunity for many of the growers to see flax grown in WA, with plenty of questions and discussion ensuing.

A dedicated flax field day will be held in Darkan on Tuesday the 29th of October with guest speakers and site visits. If you have an interest in the potential of flax as a break crop or are just plain curious, please come along it will be a really great day.

To further explore the potential of the flax industry, GIWA have invested in the project: Pre-feasibility of a Flax (linseed) Oil Industry in the High Rainfall Zone of WA with the Focus on Food and Beverage Products. The GRDC is providing in-kind support for the flax industry feasibility study.

The flax supply chain project has two sites sown to Croxton flax. A 17 Ha site at Evan Halls was seeded on the 2nd May and a 2 Ha site was seeded at Lynley Andersons property on the 2nd August. With the different sowing times we will gain valuable agronomic information as to how flax can fit into our cropping systems and growing environments.

With the warmer weather the site at Andersons germinated very quickly and evenly. The late sowing has enabled the site to remain clean with excellent weed control achieved with a knockdown prior to sowing. Red legged earth mites from the neighboring pasture paddock were halted in their tracks with a barrier spray around the edge of the site. With the late sowing moisture availability may become an issue without good finishing rains, as may the height and seed capsule (boll) numbers the plants achieve before flowering and crop senescence occur.

The earlier sown Croxton flax at Halls is coming into bud with the first flowers just opening. This site was impacted by chemical damage earlier in the season but has since made a remarkable recovery indicating the resiliency of flax crops.

Thank you very much to all our Southern Dirt trial hosts both for your time and input into the trials and for making land available. As a grower group we are reliant on grower participation and it is sincerely appreciated.

If you have any questions about new or continuing projects or would like to be involved by hosting a trial, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0475 399 677 or email:

Written by: Bronwyn Copestake


Figure 1: Croxton Flax Flower
Figure 1: Croxton Flax Flower
Figure 2: Glenelg flax TOS1 at Darkan on 17-9-2019
Figure 3 Kojonup small plot flax trials- preparation for spring field day
Figure 3: Kojonup Small Plot Flax Trials Preparation for the Spring Field Day
Figure 4 Kojonup Small Plot Flax Trials Spring Field day. Evan Hall introducing Dr Sarita Bennett
Figure 4: Kojonup Small Plot Flax Trials Spring Field Day. Evan Hall introducing Dr Sarita Bennett.
Figure 5: Germination of Croxton flax at Anderson 19 days post seeding.
FIgure 6 Croxton flax at Anderson on the 17-9-2019
Figure 6: Croxton flax at Andersons on the 17-9-2019
Figure 7 Croxton flax at Halls on the 11-9-2019 following recent broad leaf and grass weed control sprays
Figure 7: Croxton flax at Halls on the 11-9-2019 following recent broad leaf and grass weed control sprays.
Figure 8: The first of the flax flowers at Halls 11-9-2019.