In recent years, due to the increased demand for flax seeds in the EU countries, the simple cultivation technology of this crop and the biological value of seeds, Russia has developed favourable conditions for a further increase in the production of oil flax.
One of the features of modern domestic field crop production is the tendency to reduce the number of fields in field crop rotation caused by a reduction in the set of cultivated crops. An important reason for the use of short (3-4 fields) crop rotations is a rather active crop production in arid areas. The rapid return of the same crops to the same field causes a significant decrease in productivity. This is especially true in the case of oil flax.
In 2017, for the first time in the world, the breeders of the laboratory of oil flax breeding of V.S. Pustovoit All-Russian Research Institute of Oil Crops developed an oil flax variety Y 117 by individual selection method on a hard background after 3-year monoculture of flax. The yield of Y 117 was significantly higher in the preliminary and competitive variety trials in comparison to the standard variety VNIIMK 620 – by 1.44 t/ha. The variety had a complex resistance to flax sickness and fungi of the genus Fusarium spp. Due to this, the variety is suitable for cultivation both in short (3-4 fields) crop rotation and in monoculture, including in the arid conditions of the regions of southern Russia, where the lack of water in the soil allows cultivating only a limited range of drought-resistant agricultural plants.
Pic. 1 - Oil flax line Y 117, resistant to flax sickness, at a plot with a two-year flax monoculture, 2014.
(plants of variety samples susceptible to flax sickness are visible on both sides)
The main economic characters of oil flax Y 117:
· Complete resistance to flax sickness and high resistance to fusarium.
Suitable for short crop rotations and monoculture
· The growth season is 80-90 days
· The yield is up to 30 kg/ha
· The oil content in seeds is 40-45 % with a reduced content of linolenic acid (26 %), which provides increased resistance to oxidation of the oil in comparison to the standard varieties
· Thousand-seed weight is 5.0-5.5 g.
Since 2020, the variety Y 117 has been included in the State Register of breeding achievements approved for use in all flax-growing regions of Russia. It is able to produce profitable yields even in the extremely arid conditions.
The combination of characteristics allows using it as dual-purpose variety – for oil and fiber. Yellow-coloured seeds can be used for food purposes.