Nation: On the Kolkhoz

To Russia with skepticism

During the "Great Grain Robbery" of 1972, shrewd Soviet traders secretly bought shiploads of U.S. wheat at bargain prices, causing domestic prices of some grains to double. Last year the wily Russians again bought unexpectedly large quantities of U.S. grain. Despite spy-in-the-sky satellite photos taken by the CIA to gauge the Soviet harvest, U.S. officials overestimated the harvest by 10%—or 21 million metric tons. This year, vows Bob Bergland, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and a former Minnesota wheat farmer, the Soviets will not hornswoggle U.S. grain traders again....

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