§ 42. Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what reports he has received that land has become infested with eelworm as a result of over-cropping in potatoes; in which counties eelworm has been most serious and widespread; and what advice has been given in the matter by the National Agricultural Advisory Service and the Potato Marketing Board.
§ Mr. Godber
The potato root eelworm is a well-known pest of potatoes; it is under constant study by the National Agricultural Advisory Service and the Ministry Plant Pathology Laboratory, and the results of systematic soil sampling are constantly adding to our knowledge. The areas most severely affected are South-West Lancashire, South-East Yorkshire, the Holland and Kesteven Divisions of Lincolnshire, the Soke of Peterborough and parts of Cambridgeshire, the Isle of Ely, Huntingdonshire and Bedfordshire. My right hon. Friend has reason to believe that farmers are responding well to advice along the lines that the most effective method of control is by good husbandry and by proper rotational systems assisted by the soil sampling service provided by the National Agricultural Advisory Service. The Potato Marketing Board does not give advice on this subject.