Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Commons question regarding sugar beet, made on 12th November 1979.
Mr. Major asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many acres in the United Kingdom were drilled for sugar beet production in 1979; and whether he considers demand will justify continued production at this level in future years.
Mr. Peter Walker The area sown to sugar beet at 1 June 1979 was about 214,000 hectares –
Current prices £ per cow
Years ending October
1975 1976 1977 1978
Hill herds 81.3 116.9 118.8 118.7
Lowland herds 84.7 103.7 110.6 118.9
Index in real terms 1975 = 100†
Hill herds 100 122 106 98
Lowland herds 100 104 95 94
* Gross margins are defined as output minus variable costs. Output per cow is measured by calf disposals during the accounting year plus market value of calves on the farm at the end of that year. Variable costs include forage costs.
† Obtained by adjusting the current price series by changes in the general Index of Retail Prices (RPI).