Marginal Land Cultivation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons on 17th November 1942.

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Until now it has been possible to obtain the desired expansion of cultivation in Scotland without making more than a moderate call on land which, from the character of the soil, climate, or other conditions, is not capable of increased output on an immediately economic basis. Land of this character was for the most part devoted before the war to the rearing of stock. In order, however, to maintain and if possible increase the tillage acre- age in 1943 and subsequent years, it will be necessary to some extent to plough some of this marginal land if only in place of land which has undergone heavy cropping since the war and must now go back to grass. To yield satisfactory crops much of this newly ploughed marginal land will require manurial and other treatment. There is also much need for the reseeding of poor grassland on this type of farm to enable it to carry a greater head of stock. But it is clear that many of the farmers concerned, who have been unable to grow crops, and secure returns, on the scale open to farmers on good land, have not the resources to undertake without assistance the work which Agricultural Executive Committees may require of them.