It was in 1954 that Nikita Khrushchev launched his grandiose "virgin lands" gamble. Part of the plan was to plow up 32 million acres of marginal land in Kazakhstan, and settle it with Communist "pioneers," who were to plant and produce huge quantities of desperately needed grain within two years.
Nikita's scheme flopped. There was not enough rainfall, and the pioneers did not take to tractor life on the bleak frontier.
Except for 1958, each harvest has been lower than the previous year's. Worst year of all was 1962, when the virgin lands delivered only half their quotas.
Naturally, Khrushchev takes none...