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Our Flax Year at the Gut Ogrosen (Germany)

At the Gut Ogrosen we started with the flax cultivation during the year 2021 with the brown shell oil-flax variety "Lirina". Since we were happy about the results and the harvest, we decided to extend the production for the year 2022 and cultivated on a surface of about 5 ha two different varieties to compare them and get more experience and know-hows in the cultivation of this crop. Our choice fell on the brown shell oil-flax "Kaolin" and on the "Gold flax". On the plot we had an alfalfa-clover grass culture for 4 years before the flax and we have been using it as a pasture and for hay for our milking cows. During the season 2023 we went back to the variety "Lirina".

The plot used as a pasture, year 2021

Our farm is located at about 70 m asl and the plot has a lomy sand/sandy clay soil type. We live in the municipality of Vetschau/Spreewald and have a continental climate with about 450 mm annual precipitation. The average temperature is about 2°C in January and 25°C in July.

Diary from the field - March to August 2022

March 29th 2022 - cloudy/sunny weather, 2-8°C

Due to dry weather and no real rain precipitations announced for the next days, we had to plough relatively early in the season otherwise the soil would have become too dry. When the soil is completely dried out it is not possible to plough. Should it be possible to get the plough started, the soil looks lumpy and it is not possible to get a fine sowing bed. First the plot will be plown with a tractor (170 hp) pulled four furrow reversible plough, then the sowing bed will be prepared with a 5 m spring tine cultivator.

March 30th 2022 - cloudy/light rainy weather, 0-6°C

Tillage with a 100 hp tractor.

The plot after the soil preparation

April 14th 2022 (Gründonnerstag - Thursday before Easter)

Traditional day for sowing flax in Germany – We will not sow yet, because the weather is still too dry and cold.

April 20th 2022 - finally rainy!, 2-8°C

April 21th 2022 - cloudy/light rainy weather, 2-8°C

Sowing brown flax and gold flax.

The rolling does not really work because the moisture of the soil gummed up the roller, we will try tomorrow again.

May 1st 2022

It's germinating!! The brown flax looks a little bit better than the gold variety.

Germination of the flax

May 28th 2022

Last week we had 12 lt rain per square meter. A blessing after the drought of the spring!!

May 29th 2022

The cows escaped their pasture during the night and grazed on the flax plot!! We were afraid that the cows ate the little flax plants or laid on them but were lucky: they ate the grass in between the flax plants and only slightly stepped on the crop.

Cows footprints and damages

June 8th 2022 - sunny weather, 20-26°C

The flax is blooming!! Just a little bit.

Gold flax starting to bloom

June 18th 2022

The plot is fully blooming.

Brown flax blooming
Blooming field
Gold flax (left) and brown flax (right)

July 21st 2022

Finally rain!!! Not so much as we wished, but at least it rained a little bit (around 2 lt per m2).

July 29th 2022 - sunny, 30°C

Harvesting the Brown Flax. Drying and seed cleaning in the grain barn. We harvested about 800 kg seeds per ha and are going to use them to press oil out of them.

Brown flax

August 1st 2022 - Rain!

Again, only about 3 lt per m2.

August 3rd 2022 - sunny

Harvesting the Gold Flax. Drying and seed cleaning in the grain barn. We harvested about 500 kg per ha and are going to press oil out of them.

Gold flax
Gold flax

From the fall we started about every two to three weeks to process and press flax oil for the direct sales in the farm shop, the local weekly markets of Cottbus and Lübben and for some other local marketing partners.

The oils produced at our farm: hemp, sunflower and flax

Gut Ogrosen

Ogrosen, Vetschau/Spreewald (Germany)


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