Should I Dessicate My Flax Crop?

Flax can be a frustrating crop to straight-cut combine with the bolls dry and ripe and the stalks still grass green and potentially wrapping around the reel.

The use of a chemical harvest aid or dessicant will not help to ripen flax faster, but is can greatly increase ease of harvest by killing and drying out green stalk material, weeds and can be effective for use in perenial weed control.  If bolls and seed are getting close to maturity, but the stalks green and maybe you have weed issues, dessication may be a very good option.  If you are planning on dessicating, 75-80% of the bolls should be brown.  For product choices and rates refer to the “Guide to Field Crop Protection”. Harvest of flax after application should occur when sample tests dry, typically 7 or more days after application.

If your bolls are mostly still green, please wait a little longer.  As mentioned above, using a chemical harvest aid/dessicant does not speed up seed maturity.  If applying too soon, it can actually reduce yields due to smaller seeds or shriveled seeds that don’t make it into the tank.

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