Bulletin No.


Document Type



Agronomy Department


1. South Dakota ranks fourth among the states in flax production.
2. The total production for this state is rapidly decreasing and the industry will soon be lost if measures are not taken to prevent it.
3. Careful attention to the essentials, such as variety, rotations, soil preparation, selection and treatment of seed, time, rate and depth of seeding, weed prevention and disease prevention will make it possible to produce flax permanently and profitably.
4. Flax commonly grown in South Dakota is all of the small seeded, blue flowered European type. Several pedigreed varieties have been· selected by the North Dakota and Minnesota experiment stations. Of these, North Dakota Resistant No. 52 (S. D. 29) has yielded best at Highmore and Select Russian N. D. 1215 (S. D. 686) has yielded highest at Newell.
5. Clean plump seed is necessary. This can be had by setting off a portion of the field for seed purposes and removing any weeds by hand and by thorough cleaning of seed.<6>6. Common diseases of flax are wilt, rust and canker. Rust can be avoided by early seeding. Wilt and canker can be combated by treating seed and sowing on new land or land where flax has not been grown for several years.<7>. Long rotations are desirable. The flax crop should follow pasture, meadow or clean cultivated crop.
*> Flax requires a firm seed bed. This helps insure even germination and even maturity.
9. Flax should be sown as early as convenient. April seeding has given best average yields at Cottonwood, Eureka and Highmore.
10. Two pecks per acre or a little less is probably the best rate of seeding. Experiments have not been conducted long enough to settle this point definitely.
11. Shallow seeding, about one inch deep, is best as deeper seeding may not come up.
12. Flax is a good crop for irrigated lands, but care should be taken not to over-irrigate or irrigate too late.
13. Flax can be harvested with a· header if thoroughly ripe and dry, but a binder is usually preferable so that the bundles can be set up in small shocks to dry thoroughly before threshing.
14. Flax must be dry when threshed as damp flax will not thresh cleanly and the seed is liable to heat damage in the bin.
15. Flaxseed is used mainly for the manufacture of linseed oil and oil cake. The straw is a valuable byproduct which can be used for making tow, paper and paper products.


flax, flaxseed, Belle Fourche Experiment Farm, South Dakota Crops.



Publication Date









South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts