Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS -

Agri­cul­ture in the sub­urbs: Our ar­chive pic­ture this week shows plant­ing of crops in April 1941 at Wilton, Cork. Be­tween 1940 and 1944, the land un­der tillage in the State in­creased to 1.5m acres, from a five-year aver­age of just un­der 1m acres be­tween 1935 and 1939.

It was the pe­riod known as The Emer­gency, which be­gan on September 2, 1939, a direct re­sult of the out­break of the Sec­ond World War, and fol­low­ing the dec­la­ra­tion by Taoiseach Ea­mon DeValera that Ire­land was in an of­fi­cial state of emer­gency.

As min­is­ter of in­dus­try and com­merce and min­ster of sup­plies, Séan Le­mass im­posed com­pul­sory tillage or­ders on farm­ers to en­sure they grew wheat, along with other prod­ucts that hith­erto had been im­ported. Acreages grew from 681,000 acres to 834,000 for oats, from 305,000 to 662,000 acres for wheat. Farm­ers were com­pelled to till 37.5% of their land. Many were pros­e­cuted be­cause they were un­able, or un­will­ing, to com­ply. There were 300 con­vic­tions an­nu­ally, and some 7,365 acres were con­fis­cated from those farm­ers.

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