asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps are being taken to use for fodder the grass cut at the sides of the railways; whether his attention has been called to the amount that was burnt last year; and whether in cases where the adjoining farmer cannot take it away the companies stack it or use silos to avoid waste?
After consultation with the railway authorities farmers have been advised that, as in previous years, they should apply to the local Stationmaster for permission to harvest grass on railway embankments for hay or silage or bedding. I hope that full advantage will be taken of these facilities. The railway companies themselves harvest the grass from certain stretches of line for feeding to their own horses, but shortage of suitable labour and the exigencies of operational requirements necessarily limit what they can do. Grass which is not harvested must be burned off to minimise the risk of fire and to prevent seeds being blown on to the tracks.