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Straw Burning

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on straw burning by farmers during the 1987 harvest season.

Fewer incidents of careless or inconsiderate burning of straw and stubble were reported to my Department following this year's harvest than in 1986. I welcome this further improvement, which suggests that most farmers have observed the local byelaws and the NFU code of practice to which my Department has drawn attention in successive publicity campaigns.I am also encouraged by the results of this year's straw survey which have just emerged. These show that much less straw is now disposed of by burning compared to the position in the early 1980s and confirm the trend towards incorporation.