Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE93-011.
In summary, the growing of Flax on the Ward Farm proved successful. The type of plant, it’s growth habit, production requirements low inputs and costs all seem to be complimentary to our business of growing potatoes and will help us diversify. Further study is needed for growing the plant with the optimum planting date and more attention to the harvest/retting period. The lack of insect and diseases, the low nitrogen requirements should make this a good crop to grow. Future plantings may turn up problems, but so far, so good. The economics of the crop look favorable. We will need to have mill established before the crop can really become a reality for New England. We intent to continue testing this crop in 1994.
Even though this was not part of the project proposal, the University of Maine and Department of Agriculture have been reviewing our costs and have developed some preliminary cost of production summaries. At our farm, we feel that we can return between 100 and 250 dollars per acre. Another year of analysis and actual sale of product will further help us analyze this potential.