§ Sir A. Bossom
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the comparative costs incurred, by acres, for example, in aerial 59W and ground spraying, respectively, against the Colorado beetle, to enable farmers to decide whether the additional cost of aerial spraying is justified by the avoidance of damage inescapable in normal ground spraying.
The charges borne by my Department for both types of spraying against the Colorado beetle have averaged about £2 per acre in recent years. Cost is, however, only one of several considerations which have to be taken into account by my Department in deciding which of the two methods of spraying should be employed in the campaign. Size of fields, type of country, and risk of damage to adjacent crops must also be considered. Every effort is made to avoid damaging the potato crops, and I understand that very few complaints have been made this year. The arrangements for the next year's campaign are under consideration, and the National Farmers' Union will be consulted in due course.