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Flax Day 2010 Industry Sustainability: The Path Ahead Northern Adapted Flax Variety Development Project Paul Dribnenki PowerPoint Presentation
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Flax Day 2010 Industry Sustainability: The Path Ahead Northern Adapted Flax Variety Development Project Paul Dribnenki, Flax Breeder. World Record Flax Yield???. Northern Adapted Flax Project:. To develop Flax and NuLin varieties better adapted to the short and mid

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Flax Day 2010 Industry Sustainability: The Path AheadNorthern Adapted Flax Variety Development ProjectPaul Dribnenki, Flax Breeder

northern adapted flax project
Northern Adapted Flax Project:
  • To develop Flax and NuLin varieties

better adapted to the short and mid

season zones of the prairies

  • To determine the best agronomic practices for these varieties
naf project administered by saskflax
NAF Project Administered by SaskFlax

Confirmed funding: $1,907.437 (63%)

  • SaskFlax $250,000
  • SaskFlax $ 75,000 (in-kind administration)
  • BCGPA $ 60,000 (in-kind plots)
  • CAAP-Ag Council of SK $500,000
  • Saskatchewan ADF $150,000
  • Alberta Research Council $101,100
  • Viterra $771,337
  • Still required: $1,105,000
research partner network
Research Partner Network
  • Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada - Melfort

Cecil Vera - breeding and agronomy trials

  • Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures

Dr. Jan Slaski – head up agronomy research

  • BC Grain Producers Association

Clair Langlois - breeding trials

  • Viterra

Flax Research Team - breeding

flax is not well adapted to the north
Flax is not well adapted to the North
  • Is not selected for tolerance to cold soils or spring frosts
  • Historically is a later sown crop
  • Some varieties can start reflowering under cool, wet autumn conditions (indeterminate)
  • Some varieties have stems that seem to stay green long after the bolls are ripe
  • Flax is late maturing in the north
  • Flax has late and sometimes challenging harvests
martin moore bc grain producer
Martin Moore, BC Grain Producer

“Some 15 years ago, Argentine canola was seen as a crop out of reach for most northern prairie regions as it was too long seasoned a crop. It was a risky crop in the north. Now Argentine canola is high yielding and matures on the tails of Polish canola.”

“Flax is where canola was 15 years ago and even with half the effort Argentine canola received, the same explosion of progress can be expected in flax.”

northern prairies
Northern Prairies

The Challenge

Flax requires more growing degree days to mature

  • Barley….1269……………...79% of flax
  • Canola…1432 …………..…89% of flax
  • Oats……1483………….…...93% of flax
  • Wheat…1538……….………96% of flax
  • Flax……1603……………..100% of flax

Miller, Lanier & Brandt, 2001 “Using Growing Degree Days to Predict Plant Stages”.

northern prairies10
Northern Prairies

The Challenge

The northern prairies have less growing degree days

Peace River…….……1702 GDD (106%)

Vegreville…………….1793 GDD (112%)

Melfort………………..1856 GDD (116%)

Saskatoon……………1932 GDD (121%)

Morden…………….….2174 GDD (136%)

  • 1603 growing degree days (GDD) required for flax
  • 17-18% of the GDD from May 1st – May 31st
  • 2007 data from Environment Canada
northern prairies11
Northern Prairies

The Challenge

Flax has a challenging life cycle

45-60 day vegetative period

15-25 day flowering period

30-40 day maturation period

Total requirement; 90-125 days

Canola has a shorter vegetative period and a longer flowering period (Brandt).

northern prairie
Northern Prairie

Opportunities

Higher yields

-less impact from drought

Better oil quality

-cooler temperatures

northern prairies13
Northern Prairies

The Facts

80% of Saskatchewan

flax is grown in the SE

corner; Crop Districts

1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3AN,

3ASW, 5A, 6A

Compare yields to

northern Crop Districts

5B, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9A, 9B

2008 Sask Gov. Stats

northern prairies14
Northern Prairies

The Facts

OATS - 2008

SE Sask; 58.7 bus/acre

Northern Sask; 81.0 bus/acre

Northern yield advantage = 38%

northern prairies15
Northern Prairies

The Facts

OATS - 2008

SE Sask: 39% of provincial acreage

Northern Sask: 51% of provincial acreage

northern prairies16
Northern Prairies

The Facts

Yield in bushels/acre - 2008

OatsCanola

SE Sask 58.7 28.8

Northern Sask 81.0 33.8

Northern Yield

Advantage 38% 17%

northern prairies17
Northern Prairies

The Facts

Provincial Acreage - 2008

OatsCanola

SE Sask: 39% 38%

Northern Sask: 51% 53%

northern prairies18
Northern Prairies

The Facts

Yield in bushels/acre-2008

OatsCanolaFlax

SE Sask 58.7 28.8 20.4

Northern Sask 81.0 33.8 24.0

Northern Yield

Advantage 38% 17% 18%

northern prairies19
Northern Prairies

The Facts

Provincial Acreage - 2008

OatsCanolaFlax

SE Sask: 39% 38%80%

Northern Sask: 51% 53%12%

northern prairies20
Northern Prairies

Better Quality

Cooler climate enhances oil quality

  • Higher omega-3 fats (linolenic)
  • Higher iodine value of the oil (faster drying oil)
  • Lower total saturated fats
northern prairies21
Northern Prairies

Quality…

Cooler climate enhances oil quality

  • Higher omega-3 fats (ALA).
  • Higher iodine value of the oil (faster drying oil)
  • Lower total saturated fats

2009 CRT Data CDC Bethune

ALA….IV….Sat

Lake Lenore 59.9…199…7.4

Regina 56.1…193…7.8

Difference 3.8…..6…..0.4

northern prairies22
Northern Prairies

Quality…

Cooler climate enhances oil quality

  • Higher omega-3 fats (ALA).
  • Higher iodine value of the oil (faster drying oil)
  • Lower total saturated fats

2009 CRT Data CDC BethuneNuLin 50

ALA….IV….Sat ALA….IV….Sat

Lake Lenore 59.9…199…7.4 72.6…219…6.7

Regina 56.1…193…7.8 68.8…213…7.2

Difference 3.8…..6…..0.4 3.8......6…..0.5

northern adapted flax project23
Northern Adapted Flax Project

Location,Location,Location

  • For the first time in history, a major flax breeding program is located in the northern prairies (Vegreville).
  • Vegreville climate is cooler, shorter frost free period, longer days (photoperiod response)
  • The Viterra flax program is in the ‘zone’ and should be successful in developing flax varieties for the north
  • With support, Viterra will focus up to 50% of its flax R&D program to this project.
northern flax project
Northern Flax Project

Breeding Strategies

1. Improve cool soil germination /seedling frost tolerance

(need to extend growing season by earlier seeding)

Our 2009 nursery at Vegreville was sown from May 6th to May 15th. Soil was cool (~5oC) and conditions got colder

May 10th -2.5 May 20th -0.7 June 2nd -1.5

May 12th -2.5 May 21st -2.5 June 6th -3.1

May 13th -3.4 May 22nd -5.8 June 8th -2.0

May 14th -1.9 May 23nd -0.9 June 9th -1.8

May 18th -2.3 May 29th -0.4

northern flax project25
Northern Flax Project

Breeding Strategies

2. Select daylength sensitive lines to trigger early maturity

8-17 days earlier than CDC Bethune

northern flax project26
Northern Flax Project

Breeding Strategies

3. Identify determinate lines (will not start reflowering in response to autumn rains).

northern flax project27
Northern Flax Project

Breeding Strategies

4. Identify lines with stems that turn brown when bolls mature

northern flax project28
Northern Flax Project

Breeding Work

  • New flax lines will be developed by Viterra based on elite germplasm and PGRC early maturing accessions
  • Flax lines with northern characteristics will be selected at the Vegreville nursery and then field evaluated at Melfort AAFC, Fort St. John, BC and Vegreville, AB.
  • Breeding deliverables…in the first 5 years, up to 50,000 nursery rows, up to 5000 F5 full plots, up to 600 F6 lines in preliminary yield trials and up to 200 F7 lines in advanced yield trials will be generated and evaluated.
northern flax project29
Northern Flax Project

Agronomy Work

Agronomy is also required to identify best management practices for growing flax in the northern prairies

Dr. Jan Slaski (ARC) and Cecil Vera (Melfort AAFC)

Need to revisit impact of agronomy in the north

-variety, tillage, seeding date, seeding rate, seeding depth, seed treatment, fertilizer, weed management

northern flax project30
Northern Flax Project

Conclusions

  • This project will take 10 years to complete. Breeding for northern adaptation is a process and not an event. It will take many cycles of evaluation, hybridization, selection, evaluation, hybridization, selection, etc to be successful.
  • The plan is to fix four northern traits; improved cold soil/seedling frost tolerance, determinate boll maturity, synchronous stem ripening, and a suite of maturity options in high yielding varieties.
  • The plan is to also develop a set of best management practices to accompany these new varieties.