HC Deb 06 March 1941 vol 369 cc1014-5
48. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture, in view of the fact that there are abundant supplies of nitrogenous fertilisers in the country to-day, what steps he is taking to encourage farmers to make adequate use of these supplies, with a view to increasing the yield from existing meadowland?

Mr. Hudson

Every available means in the way of propaganda and publicity are being utilised to bring home to farmers the importance of applying nitrogenous fertilisers to grass and arable land this spring. County war agricultural executive committees have been instructed to make full use of their power to issue directions, in suitable cases, requiring farmers to use these fertilisers. The quantities that have been purchased this season show a substantial increase over the quantities bought during the corresponding period last year.

52. Mr. Price

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps are being taken to encourage local authorities to prepare artificial manures from their sewage disposal plants in view of the shortage of fertilisers generally?

Mr. Hudson

Pending the results of the experiments to which I referred in my reply to my hon. Friend on 19th February, no encouragement is being given to local authorities to prepare artificial manures from sewage disposal plants.

Mr. Price

Is the Minister aware that it is estimated that at the present time 750,000 tons of sewage sludge go into the sea every year which might be made use of by these processes and would prove very useful in augmenting the supply of fertilisers?

Mr. Hudson

One of the most important things I have to do is to make sure that this product is suitable for the land, and until the experiments are finished I am not prepared to assume that it would be.

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