HC Deb 24 April 1941 vol 371 c256
46. Mr. David Adams

asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress has been made relative to the Rothamstead experiments in growing soya beans; and, in view of the nutritive value of this product, are steps being taken to produce substantial crops?

Mr. Hudson

Experiments on the growth of soya beans have been made at Rothamsted and at its Woburn substation since 1934 by Professor W. South-worth, who, while in Manitoba, had produced one of the most successful varieties; and by Dr. H. N. Mann, an expert on the crops of warm climates. These experiments showed that the conditions necessary for successful culture are: (1) absence of late frosts in spring; (2) warm summers; (3) dry autumns. In most parts of the country these conditions cannot be assured, and in consequence yields have not usually exceeded 6 or 7 cwts. clean beans per acre, which is less than those obtainable from ordinary field beans and from linseed, in many respects comparable crops for animal feeding. The search for more productive varieties is bound to be slow.

Mr. Adams

Is the Minister aware that there is a considerable amount of in formed opinion in favour of an extension of this experiment?

Mr. Hudson

Yes, Sir, but as I have said, experiments have been carried out by leading experts, and have failed to produce results.