HC Deb 15 May 1968 vol 764 c1212
23. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many milk producers there are in Dorset; and how many there were three years ago.

Mr. Hoy

The number of registered milk producers in Dorset at 31st March, 1968, was 1,952, compared with 2,175 in March, 1965.

Mr. Digby

While appreciating that the larger herds are now more economic, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to bear in mind that many of the Dorset holdings are essentially dairy holdings, not suitable for anything else, and that too great an increase in the number of milk producers cannot be desirable?

Mr. Hoy

It is true that since 1950 the number of herds has progressively declined. I know that it will be a consolation to the hon. Gentleman to know that in his part of the world the decline has been much less than in the rest of England and Wales. In addition we have increased milk production, and have larger herds in his area.