Mr. Wm Ross
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the area planted with potatoes in Great Britain in 1975, 1976 and 1977; how much of this area was devoted to ware production and how much to seed; what was the yield and expected yield per acre and per hectare and in total for seed and ware; what was the consumption in Great Britain in 1975 and 1976 and the expected consumption of the 1977 crop; and how may tons of ware and seed were exported in each of the years 1975 and 1976.
§ Mr. Bishop
Following is the information:
1975 crop 1976 crop Area planted ('000 hectares) 193 208 Yield (tons per acre) 8.9 8.5 Yield (tonnes per hectare) 22.3 21.4 Production ('000 tonnes) 4,309 4,458 Human consumption from the Great Britain crop ('000 tonnes) 3,525 3,401 Exports: Ware ('000 tonnes) 17 — Seed ('000 tonnes) 40 36
In 1977, 213,000 hectares of potatoes were planted. A provisional estimate of yield is 29.7 tonnes per hectare (11.8 tons per acre).
It is too soon to predict the usage of the 1977 crop. For purposes of comparison it may be noted that in 1974, before the two years of shortage, human consumption in Great Britain totalled 5,196,000 tonnes and exports amounted to 43,000 tonnes of ware and another 43,000 tonnes of seed.
Figures on the area of the total seeding requirement are not available but plantings of certified seed in the three years were 18,000, 17,000 and 23,000 hectares respectively.