Agriculture and farming

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Escapee Denis Vibert report on early months of the Occupation

At the time of the occupation the farmers had already planted their tomato crop and realising that there would probably be no market, they wished to plough them in. The States promised, however, that they would buy the crop and under the compulsion of an order, the farmers were obliged to carry on with the growing. This promise was not fulfilled with the result that the farmers were left with the crop on their hands. Each farmer is told by the States exactly what to plant and how much to grow under threat of having his farm confiscated.

The programme which was mapped out for 1941 resulted in the area used for potato growing being restricted to about one sixth, the balance being used for wheat, oats, barley, etc., the object being to make the Island as self-supporting as possible. The water-mills are being put into running order to grind the wheat, etc.

During the potato season of 1941 the Germans bought potatoes for their troops in northern France. In view of the large quantities which have been sold it is feared that there will be a severe shortage this coming winter. As a result of the States' mismanagement of the calculations of requirements for 1941, insufficient vegetables were grown, with the result that there is a shortage. It is expected that this will be rectified next year.

The stock of cattle is on the increase as there is no normal export trade. The Germans have bought for export a few prize cattle only.

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