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Dairy Farmers (Human Food Crops)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 22 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether it is his intention to compel farmers with 100 per cent. attested pedigree milk herds to grow such crops as potatoes, sugar-beet and wheat if this necessitates reducing the size or restricting the expansion of such herds?

As a general rule a dairy farmer is expected as a first priority to provide from his own land a substantial proportion of the feeding requirements of his cows. He is then expected, if he has further land available, to make his contribution towards essential human food crops. In some cases, however, it may be in the national interest for a dairy farmer to grow a high proportion of crops for direct human consumption and to be given supplementary coupons under the feeding stuffs rationing Scheme for the feeding of his dairy herd. The responsibility for administering these arrangements rests with county war agricultural executive committees acting under general instructions from my Department which are designed to secure the maximum production of milk and of crops for direct human consumption. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind and will let me have details, I shall be happy to investigate it.