Flax can be utilized in many small grain and corn rotations as a potential cover crop or fiber/oil crop. Compared to other common crops, overall nutrient demand is lower and very little nitrogen is needed. Vegetative growth normally requires 50 days before flowering occurs but after this flowering can last 2-4 weeks. Flax can be utilized as a green manure if terminated early enough but take caution if attempting to cut too late as lignin/cellulose content increase with maturity and would hamper decomposition. Nearly 95% of the water flax extracts from the soil is in the top 2-3 feet because of its shallow root structure. Water use is considered moderate with respect to other field crops, but flax uses about 3-4 inches less than soybeans. This is primarily due to the fact that the leaves of flax are generally numerous but leaf area is limited and thus ET is lower. As mentioned before, this species is an excellent companion crop next to other species in an early season mixture. Flax is generally a self-pollinated crop but pollinating insects are attracted to the various blue/purple colors of the flowers. Because flax is a broadleaf species, most diseases associated with it will not transfer over and cause infection to corn, soybeans, or wheat with the exception of powdery mildew and rhizoctonia after legumes.
|Maturity (Days)||Seeds/lb||C/N at Maturity||Growth Habit||Root Type/Depth||Cold Kill (F)||Dry Matter Potential(Tons/acre)|
|90 - 120||80000||High||Upright||Shallow Fibrous||20||2 - 3|
|Use and Characteristics|
|N Fix Potential||Lasting Residue||Palatability||Hay Harvest||Regrowth||Deep Compaction||Surface Compaction||Weed Suppression||Crimp Kill|
|Plant Depth||Min Germ Temp(F)||Drilled Seed Rate (lbs/acre)||Broadcast Seed Rate (lb/acre)|
|3/4 - 1 1/4"||45||30 - 50||55 - 60|
|Heat||Drought||Shade||Wet Soil||Low Fertility||Low pH Soil||High pH Salinity||High pH Calcareous|