Soviet Union: Trouble Down On the Farm

Drought, rainstorms, theft and perennial mismanagement

On the gently rolling plains of southern Russia and the Ukraine, stunted stalks of wheat and corn lay flat on the rich black earth, blighted by drought and wind. In the lower Volga region, rain mercilessly pelted burgeoning grain; harvesting combines stood idle as farmers watched the crop sink into the mud. The forecast is bleak this summer in the kolkhozy (collective farms) and sovkhozy (state farms) of the Soviet grain belt, where capricious weather has caused a third consecutive bad harvest—with an anticipated shortfall of...

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