Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment


The suitability of various production-techniques for the utilization of flax adapted to short-fibre production


An extended flax cultivation in Germany appears to be possible only within a visible change of utilization from textile long-fibre to a technically used shortfibre.

Emphasizing the yield of fibre and linseed, any different utilization demands a simultaneous use of all plant-components. With main attempt to technical processing, adapted technologies of plant production have to be developed. Based on two-year field-trials (1986 and 1987) at the experimental station Dikopshof, studies of the flax plant and its stem-morphology have been made to find features of yield and quality in regard to different varieties as well as techniques of production and harvest. The experiments covered a variation of year, variety, fertilization, growth-regulators, harvest-technique and date of harvest.

The results can be concluded as follows:

- Fibre-yield is affected by a mutual relation of year, variety and nutrition of nitrogen. However, a starting-supply of 25 to 30 kg/ha nitrogen in spring can generally be recommended.

- The application of growth-regulators shows hardly any affection to fibre-yield, but positive results concerning the yield of linseed can be found especially with CCC.

- Concerning the total yield of fibre and linseed, the method of harvesting unretted green-flax proved to be better than dew retting and chemical pre-harvest retting (with Glyphosate). Notably, a cutting technique, like combine harvesting, causes losses of straw and fibre up to 25 %, compared to the conventional pulling-technique.

- Harvesting at the date of straw-ripeness, that is to say in between the stages of green (fibre) and full (capsule) ripeness, is possible without losses of total yield of fibre and linseed. A dual-purpose flax reached constant yield in both years, whereas the fibre-flax varieties were highly affected by the weather conditions.

- Compared to the quality-typed variety "Ariane" and the dual-purpose-type "Liflora", the production-type "Belinka" resulted in the highest reliability of yield. In combination with a medium level of N-supply and the application of CCC, this variety enabled for the safest crop-management.

- Concerning the grade of fibre-release after mechanical processing (delignification), differences up to 5 % of secondary substances can be found in the cortex.

Key words: flax, production system, short fibre, yield, quality.