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Grass Seed

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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53.

asked the Minister of Agriculture what are the total requirements of grass seed for England including Wales and Scotland, respectively, in a normal year; and what quantity has so far been imported during 1947.

No separate figures are available of the annual requirements of the various descriptions of grass seeds in England and Wales and Scotland, respectively. For the United Kingdom as a whole, it is estimated that between 30,000 and 35,000 tons of seed of the principal agricultural grasses are needed for sowing throughout the season, based on current cropping programmes. The quantity of these seeds imported during the first six months of 1047 was 1600 tons.

is the Minister aware that in my constituency about 3,000 acres of grass seed, sown at the request of his Ministry, is no longer needed for this purpose, and will he ensure, if he still wishes seed to be grown for export, that an assurance is given to farmers that their seed will find a market?

It may very well happen that, at one and the same time, there is a surplus of one kind of seed and a shortage of another, which can only be obtained by imports. I can assure my hon. Friend that we do not encourage people to grow seeds unless we feel that there is going to be a market available for them.