Flax: Emergence and Frost

Frost Impact on Flax

Flax plants just emerging (cotyledon stage) are the most susceptible to early spring frost, but can withstand temperatures down to approximately -3° Celsius. After the seedlings have passed the two leaf stage and are hardened by exposure, they can withstand temperatures as low as -8°C for a short time, without significant damage (https://flaxcouncil.ca/growing…).

Flax is generally at the first whorl stage right now, so a hard frost can have significant damage on the crop. It is important to follow the typical frost scouting techniques and wait 3-5 days to see whether frost has impacted the crop or not.

Emergence Monitoring (posted by SaskFlax: https://www.saskflax.com/quadr…)

One way to work towards optimizing flax performance on your farm is to determine the plant population and calculate emergence rate. Relating these numbers back to the seeding rate used, the environmental conditions and other factors at seeding can help determine management practices for the growing season and adjustments that can be made next year.

Steps to determine actual plant population and emergence rate:

1. At 1.5 to 2 weeks after seeding, count the number of plants per square metre or foot in a few representative locations in the field and calculate the average. This number is the plant population. To maximize yield potential, the minimum desired population for flax is 300 plants/m2 (28 plants/ft2) and the maximum is 400 plants/m2 (37 plants/ft2).

READ MORE at SaskFlax’s May 2021 edition of Flax on the Farm