HC Deb 02 March 1971 vol 812 cc1385-6
16 and 20. Sir H. Harrison

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what estimates he has made of the acreage of winter wheat planted for harvest this year;

(2) what are the prospects for spring sowings of cereal crops.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

The acreage of autumn sown wheat in England and Wales at the December census was 2.3 million acres. Information about the cereals acreage farmers in England and Wales intend to sow in the spring will not be available until the March census figures have been examined.

Sir H. Harrison

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but I am sure he is aware that in the eastern part of England, because of the climatic conditions over which we have no control, in the last three years the harvests have been poor. Is he satisfied that his Department is doing everything to encourage good harvests?

Mr. Stodart

Even with all the ability which my Department has, it is a little difficult for it to encourage a good harvest next August from the weather point of view.