19 December 1997

Flax know-how pays off

A PROFESSIONAL approach to fibre flax production is paying dividends for a new company formed by farmers and businessmen to develop the crops potential.

Growers working through the newly formed Industrial Crop Partnership produced 2500t of fibre-grade straw for the textile industry this year and have sold most of it into premium markets already.

Over 2550ha (6300 acres) was drilled, no re-drilling was required and crop rejections amounted to just 0.27%, against a three-year industry average of 25%, says Steve Rudkin of ICP, Rothley, Leics.

The company supplies bales to Straw Services of Wakefield, which processes and cleans the straw to the required standard, raising its value to 70p/kg. Outlets for 500t, worth £350,000, have already been secured, says ICP.