HC Deb 18 June 1953 vol 516 cc1171-2
28. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture how much land has been newly ploughed from grass to grow crops for the 1953 harvest; and to what extent the ploughing subsidy scheme has increased the tillage acreage this year.

Sir T. Dugdale

About 600,000 acres of grassland in England and Wales have been ploughed up and cropped for the 1953 harvest. The cropping forecast made by farmers on 4th March, and published on 28th April, indicated an increase in tillage in England and Wales of about 100,000 acres. A better estimate can be made when the preliminary figures from 4th June Returns are available about the end of July.

Mr. Hurd

May we take it that most of this extra 100,000 acres is now growing corn, and that this marks a reversal of the downward trend in the corn acreage of 1950 and 1951.

Sir T. Dugdale

I think before deciding anything definitely on these figures we must wait until we get the next returns.

Mr. T. Williams

Lest that supplementary question should be misleading, would the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what is the increase in the grain crops this year compared with 1951?

Sir T. Dugdale

The answer I gave said that the increase in England and Wales alone was about 100,000 acres of crops out of 600,000 acres of grassland that have been ploughed up in England and Wales.

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