HC Deb 23 July 1918 vol 108 cc1639-40
58. Colonel WHELER

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that the failure of this season's cherry and plum crop in Kent was largely due to an attack of a fungus commonly known as brown rot, Sclerotinia fructigena, and not due to frost; whether he will take every possible step to prevent the recurrence of this fungus this autumn and next spring; and will he see that fruit growers can get an adequate amount of sulphate of copper spray to syringe the fruit trees?


The failure of the Kent plum and cherry crop in the present season cannot be attributed to a single cause. The inclement weather during flowering, the normal alternation between years of large and small yield, and the fungus mentioned by the hon. Member, which was encouraged by the quantity of fruit left to rot on the trees last year, were all contributing factors. Brown rot is an endemic disease, and the means for combating it are described in the Board of Agriculture's Leaflets Nos. 86 and 312. Supplies of copper sulphate are available for the spraying of fruit trees as a preventive against brown rot. Further investigation into the diseases of fruit trees is under the consideration of the Horticultural Advisory Committee, recently established by the Board of Agriculture.