§ Mr. Scott-Hopkins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what percentage increase is anticipated for potash, phosphate and nitrogen fertiliser for the 1974–75 crop year; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bishop
As I am not clear to what percentage increase the hon. Member's Question is directed I will deal with uptake, usage and prices. We expect the uptake of fertilisers to be below normal in the 1974–75 crop year because many farmers bought their supplies for the whole of the season in May or earlier. Fertiliser usage has been increasing at between 2½ per cent. and 3 per cent. per annum in recent years and we expect the rate of increase to be continued and in due course improved. Manufacturers' prices have not been increased since April last but I cannot give any forecast of future prices.