The principle focus of our breeding program is fiber flax and oil flax varieties. We also cooperate with other parties for the selection of winter wheat and barley varieties.
Breeding fiber flax
It usually takes about ten years to breed a new variety of flax. The low multiplication coefficient of the seed means that large-scale trials of potential new varieties can only be run at a later stage. The material used for multiplication is trialed at six locations distributed over European flax growing regions. These regions have different climate zones and soil types. We also have dedicated plots where disease resistance is tested and a site located in the southern hemisphere. This strategy enables us to optimally test the agronomic potential of a variety and improve region-specific cultivation advice.
Various traits are examined during the breeding process:
- Yields of long fiber, seed and straw
- Resistance to Fusarium, flax scorch (Pythium megalacanthum), mildew and Verticillium
- Fiber quality
- Various agronomic traits such as earliness and lodging
Varieties with good production traits contribute to modern flax growing systems. The ability of a variety to adapt to various cultivation conditions benefits the profitability of the crop. The selection protocol applied on our screening plots concentrates on polyvalent varieties.
Click here for more information on fiber flax.
Breeding oil flax
The fertile, productive and homogenous polder soils are ideal for breeding oil flax. The moderate climate allows reliable predictions of the yields. The most promising lines are trialed to reveal their production capacity in global production regions and the yield stability in various cultivation conditions This ensures that the most interesting lines are selected for our customers.
Our breeding program has proven to match market needs in practice. Our varieties have acquired a leading position in the market. Growers are not the only ones to benefit from our varieties. During the breeding process, we take the requirements of the end user of the flax seed into account by steering the oil profile and optimal oil content.
Classic breeding and multiplication techniques are used so that our varieties are GMO-free. The seed contains high percentages of oil (>41%) and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (linolenic/18:3). This ensures the suitability of all van de Bilt zaden en vlas bv seeds for multiple applications (industrial oils, cold pressed oil for oil/foodstuffs industry, animal feed, bakery products, nutritional supplements, etc.).
Click here for more information on oil flax.