HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1332-3W
Mr. Beechman

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the necessity of increasing the home production of animal feeding-stuffs, he will take steps to make more widely known amongst agriculturists the potentialities of raising lucerne in this country as a fodder crop for sheep, cattle, farm horses and other livestock?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I appreciate the value of lucerne as a fodder crop, and a leaflet issued by the Ministry of Agriculture has received a wide circulation and is available free of charge to farmers. As my hon. Friend is aware, lucerne can only be economically grown on suitable soils containing appropriate microorganisms. This problem has engaged the attention of the Rothamsted Experimental Station for some years, and as a result of the research work of the station a successful method of seed inoculation has been worked out and made available to farmers. By this means it has been possible to expand considerably the area under cultivation.

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