20 MARCH 1942, Page 2

The Yield of the Land

The yield of the land in war-time ranks with the yield of the mines, since the more we can produce of the food which is indispensable to existence the less shipping shall we require for importing it. In the debate on agriculture on Wednesday Mt. Hudson said that this year's harvest might be a critical factor in the history of the world. He said that when this year's ploughing is completed we should have 6,030,0oo more acres under the plough than before the war. That is probably the extreme limit that it would be wise to attempt under present conditions ; in the early stages of the ploughing-up campaign zeal outpaced dis- cretion and some good pasturage was wasted for poor tillage, and many animals that should have been kept for milk were slaughtered. The task now is to make the utmost use of the land available by good farming with a view to the maximum yield. Heavy drafts have been made upon the skilled labour supply, and the farmers are working under difficulties, which must be eased during the summer by releasing as much Part- winter just ended. Great

time labour as possible ; some use can be made of troops.

strides have been made in mechanisation, and in this respect, in proportion to the land cultivated, we now compare favourablY with any country in the world. All the encouragement that MT. Hudson can offer will be needed if the vital milk supply is to be more nearly adequate next winter than it has been in the