A new linseed variety which has been bred with a lower fibre content promises to be easier to harvest.

There has been a reluctance to grow linseed because of its reputation for being difficult to cut, said Nigel Bazeley of Premium Crops. “Linseed is known for having a fibrous stem and it is this which in some circumstances has in the past caused combining difficulties.”

“EasyCut” is a new type of linseed bred with low levels of fibre in the stem and short, stiff straw, resulting in it being easier to harvest, he said. “In addition, these linseed varieties are very early maturing, so come to harvest before traditional varieties.”

Altess, the first easycut linseed variety, has 25% less fibre in the stem and has proved to be easy and straightforward to harvest. It is on the HGCA 2012 Spring Linseed Descriptive List, has a yield of 102% and is the earliest to harvest with a maturity score of eight, he said.

Grower Rob Rouston of Garendon Park Farms in Leicestershire grew 56ha of the variety last season. “It was an even height and combined really well. We cut 36ha in one day, cutting into the early hours of the morning, totally dispelling the myth that the sun needs to be shining to cut linseed.”