To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will next be meeting the president of the National Farmers Union to discuss the effects of the recent hurricane.
I have no plans for any further meeting on this matter.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the impact of the recent weather on the harvest.
I am very much aware that some farmers in many parts of the country, particularly on the east coast, have had a bad harvest because of the very difficult weather conditions during the summer and autumn.It is not possible to make an estimate of the direct impact of this as the effect will vary from farmer to farmer. But overall our present estimate is that the harvest will total 21·6 million tonnes. Even with this figure there will be a substantial surplus of feed grain of between 7 million and 8 million tonnes including intervention stores.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further representations he has received from smallholders who have large trees lying on their ground as to the resources which they may claim to assist them in their removal; and if he will make a statement.
I have received no such representations although I am aware of the difficulties this is causing in some cases. Individual smallholders can contact MAFF offices to see if help is available under the farm and countryside initiative in their particular circumstances.