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Linseed Acreage

Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is in a position to state how many acres are to be sown to linseed in 1947; and what improvement this is on the known acreage in 1946.

The acreage of linseed sown this year is likely to be limited by the quantity of seed available. In all, I expect that at least an additional 500 tons of linseed will be distributed in time for sowing which, with the seed already distributed from last year's crop, represents enough for some 30,000 acres. This compares with approximately 11,000 acres in 1946.

Why has there been this long delay in obtaining linseed; and why has it suddenly had to be rushed across the Atlantic at express speed, when it has been available in the United States and Canada for many months past?

Because there is no widespread inclination on the part of farmers to grow linseed. It is only because of the recent weather that the large demand came along, and immediately it did steps were taken to buy linseed, in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

Can the Minister give an assurance that great care will be exercised to differentiate between the acreage under linseed for oil and that under flax seed for fibre?

I think there are two reasons why we want the maximum acreage of linseed this year; first, we want the oil; secondly, linseed can be sown much later than other crops.

Is the Minister aware that the two kinds of flax seed are entirely different—that the linseed for oil is entirely different from the flax seed for fibre?

I appreciate that, and I imagine that farmers who buy the seed will know "t'other from which."