HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc32-3
62. Mr. James Hudson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the doubling of barley cultivation during the war to nearly 2,000,060 acres, he proposes in the present food shortage to divert any part of the present cultivation of barley to that of other cereals.

Mr. T. Williams

As I informed the House on 5th February, the general shortage of cereals makes it imperative that farmers should sow as much grain as they can this spring. This applies especially to wheat, but, where the sowing of spring wheat is not practicable, we want more barley and oats.

Mr. Hudson

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether in view of the tremendous increase in the barley production during the war, he in his Department will indicate some direction to the farmers about the growing of barley?

Mr. Williams

My hon. Friend will appreciate that barley is a first class dual crop, for human or animal food.

Mr. Hudson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the directions regarding this matter have come hitherto almost entirely from the brewers, who have offered larger prices for the production of barley?

65. Mr. Leslie Hale

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many acres of land in this country. were growing wheat in 1945; and how many acres of land it is estimated will be growing wheat in 1946.

Mr. T. Williams

The acreage of wheat in England and Wales in 1945 was 2,180,000 acres. As spring sowing has hardly begun it is too early to estimate accurately the wheat acreage for 1946.

68. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will state the acreage of wheat sown last autumn in this country; and how the figures compare with the autumn of 1943.

Mr. T. Williams

I regret that, pending the tabulation of the results of the agricultural census of 4th December last, figures for the acreage of wheat sown last autumn are not yet available.

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