There's renewed excitement about growing flax in Western Canada, says the president of the Flax Council of Canada.

"There's a lot of excitement today, mainly because the net returns per acre on flax have been extremely good for the last two years," says Will Hill.

After suffering a major blow when Europe closed its border to Canadian flax in 2008, he says the demand picture for flax is strong right now.

"We have good demand out of China, we're doing a little more volume with Europe - that market is coming back, and we have reduced production in the United States, which will bode well for exports to the US," he says. "I think returns to producers have been good and it looks like they'll continue to be good. All of that is fueling the expectation that acres again will rise."

Hill notes there's also new interest in growing flax in Alberta.

"Alberta this year produced more flax than Manitoba. We anticipate that trend will continue because they're ideally situated for the Chinese market, which has turned out to be a constant buyer of Canadian flax," he says.

According to Statistics Canada, 1.035 million acres of flax were seeded in the prairie provinces in 2013.