Annual Flax is an old/new crop. It has been used for millenium but is finding a new role as a Cover Crop. It is an annual, cool season, broadleaf. While it is a self pollinating crop, it also can attract pollinators. It is a relatively low growing plant that does not spread so it does not shade out other crops (or weeds) growing near it. It is slower to germinate and mature compared to some larger seeded cover crop types (Cowpeas, Lentils, Chickling Vetch etc.) If you are looking to provide some longer lasting residue after you mow or winter kill, Flax is a good candidate. It has a high lignin content in its stems and leaves so it decomposes relatively slowly. It has low input requirements.

Flax takes between 90 – 110 to full maturity, however the closer to maturity, the higher the lignin content and if your use for the Flax is green manure, you can terminate it early and get less fiber. Flax typically would not be planted on its own for a cover crop but would be one component of a mix. Consider avoiding Flax if you plan to graze your land because it has low palatability and can have prussic acid toxicity if the plant has been stressed.

C:N ratio: 20-50:1


Additional Information

  • Variety Release Sheet:
  • USDA Sheet:


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