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Country & Farming: Scientists analyse field trials of 29 varieties of flax.

ANALYSIS of yields from its flax trials this year has just completed by the School of Agriculture and Forest Science at the University of Wales Bangor.

As part of its flax and hemp participatory research and development project, scientists at the school have been growing 29 different varieties of flax.

Welsh flax growers last year achieved an average yield of 2.5t/ ha of flax straw. However, more than half of the cultivars in this year's plot trials recorded yields of over 6t/ha whilst 6 yielded over 7t/ ha of straw.

``Electra (7.9t/ha) Diane (7.5t/ ha) Aurora (7.4t/ha) and Liviola (7.3t/ha) were identified this year as the highest yielders of retted straw'' explained Dr Jim Dimmock, crop scientist for the flax and hemp project at Bangor.

Together with BioFibre, a local processing plant based in Caernarfon, the Bangor team aim to obtain commercial quantities of seed for some of the leading varieties in preparation for next year's farm trials.

Just under 250ha of flax and hemp crops were grown on contract for BioFibre in 2002 on 27 farms.

The extracted fibre will be manufactured into industrial matting and insulation material.


GROWER: Eric Down, Penycwm, Haverfordwest, who grew flax this year RAW DEAL: The fibre is extracted and made into industrial matting and insulation material
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 26, 2002
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