N.Z. FOOD OUTPUT
NEED FOR FERTILISERS
If New Zealand were to play its part in relieving the world food problem a plentiful supply of phosphates had to be assured, said Mr. S. Irwin Crookes, chairman of the N.Z. Farmers' Fertiliser Co., Ltd., at the annual meeting to-day, in drawing attention to the fact that the Combined Food Board, which met in Washington at the end of May, made extra allocations of phosphates to the Dominion to increase food production, but at that time could not guarantee the extra shipping required. There were now indications of the shipping shortage being overcome in the near future, he said.
Quoting from an official report relating to the year ended January 31, 1944, Mr. Crookes said of 20 million acres under cultivation in New Zealand, less than 17 per cent was topdressed. The figures, which emphasised the enormous possibilities for food production, were:—Topdressed with chemical fertilisers, 1,471,067 acres; with lime only, 729,683 acres; fertiliser and lime, 1,169,215 acres.
"It is very startling to realise that out of every six acres of land cultivated in New Zealand, only one acre is topdressed," he added. Dealing with the fertiliser industry's main problems—shortages of manpower, rail trucks and phosphate rock—Mr. Crookes said there were indications of relief during thg current year to a limited extent. It' was unlikely that any substantial improvement in manpower would take place before next year, as allowance had to be made for furlough periods for returned men. Soon after the arrival of truck iromvork, large orders for which had been placed overseas, more railway trucks should be available. Some relief had been given by greater use of road transport up to 50 miles from the works.
Mr. Crookes referred to the increased fertiliser allocation to the farmer from 28 per cent of average requirements to 42 per cent, stating it was evident, there was a long way to go before the manufacturing capacity of the works was reached, especially as some works were increasing their capacity. Supplief of phosphates had been obtained during the war from Makatea Island. North Africa, Red Sea ports, Florida and other sources. Some of these, rocks were inferior in quality to those from Nauru and Ocean Islands, which were still in the possession of the Japanese. The British Phosphate Commissioners were making all possible provision in advance to enable these islands to be worked at the earliest moment after their return to British control.
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GREAT SCOPE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945
GREAT SCOPE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945
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