Created: 11/10/1955

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports


This memorandum on the condition of growing crops in the Sino-Soviet Bloc Is based on an analysis of weather data and other factors affecting crop yields in the Bloc. ualitative statement, it reflectseneral way the prospects for the food supply of the Bloc for the consumption5 throughuantitative estimates of production, based on acreage us well as yield, will be madeater report. The general conclusions presented in this memorandum are Indicative of the field-crop potential of the USSR, Communist China, and Korth Vietnam as of5 and of the European Satellites ao of





Crop prospects in the Sino-Soviet Bloc indicate that agricultural production in the Bloc5 will rise substantially above the mediocre levels- It appears likely that total agricultural production in the USSR will be greater than it has been in any postwar year and that over-all production in the European Satellites andChina will be measurably higher than the below-normalof Only in North Vietnam will harvests5 fall below those.

Favorable weather 'in much of the agricultural area of the European USSR, the new acreages of grain crops in West Siberia and Kazakhstan,robable Increase in production from expanded corn acreages will raise total production of crops in the USSR above thathe best previous postwar harvest year. In terms of annual averages, the production of crops in the European Satellites will be only fair, but it will be definitely better than the below-normal productionU. In Communist China, favorable weather during most5odest increase in rice acreage will resultotal crop production greater than thatear during which severe floodserious drop in agricultural production. In Worth Vietnam there have been droughts in the north and floods in the lowlands, and the fourthannual crop failure seems imminent.

The estimates and conclusions contained in this memorandumthe best Judgment of ORR as

In the Sino-Soviet Blochole, the per capita availability of food during the consumption5 through6 will be greater than inonsumption year. The Improvement is largely the result of more favorable weather, however, and there is no indication that the agricultural economy of the Sino-Soviet Bloc hasatisfactory solution to the perennial problemluctuating food supply.


On the basin of weather and crop information available as oft is expected that total crop production in the USSR5 will be greater than. The anticipated increase is the result of favorable weather in much of the important crop area of the European USSR and of expanded acreage, primarily in the "new lands" area of West Siberia and Kazakhstan.

Total production of grain5 probably will exceed thehigh reached The outlookood grain harvest ic based on several factors.

First, good harvests were reported this year in the important grain areas of the Ukraine and the North Caucasus. References in the Soviet press indicate that yields this year will comparewith the2 harvest.


Second, the acreage of wheat5 has been increasedercent overcreage. This expansion occurred in the "new lands" area of West Siberia and Kazakhstan. Despite the low wheat yields caused by the drought in this areaproduction probably will exceed the bumper harvestmaller acreage

Finally, the acreage of corn has been increased fourfold over that Some of this increase, however, has been at the expense of other feed grains, such as barley and oats. Much of the corn will be harvested in an immature stage and will be processed as silage.*

The sugar-beet crop, largely concentrated in the Ukraine and neighboring parts of the central black soil belt, is expected to be much better than it washen summer drought sharply reduced the yield of sugar beets. In addition, there has been an increase in acreage of more thanercent.

* It appears certain that immature corn is to be included in the Soviet total grain figure, but the rate of conversion from immature corn to dry grain that the Russians will employ in this accounting is unknown. Such conversion is necessary to prevent an astronomical inflation of the total grain production figure. In the US, immature ears of corn processed as silage are accounted for as grain, after making an allowance for water content.

Tha outlook for the production of potatoes5 Is also Because of generally good weather throughout the European USSR,creent increase in acreage, the potato crop5 io likely to bo better than that- It should be noted, however, that weather conditions during the fall harvesting seasonecisive effect on the production of both potatoes and sugar beets.

Assuming normal harvesting conditions, little change is expected in the production of cotton5 compared with thathichairly good year. Much of the cotton crop in Central Asia was adversely affected by cold weather In the springnd in some areas considerable replanting was necessary. Reports from various regions have Indicated danger from Insect pests, and as late as earlyrovincial newspaper reported continuing insect-pest damage In Uzbek SSR. On the other hand, members of the US agriculturalwho inspected several cotton fields near Tashkent in Uzbekepublic which accounts for nbout two-thirds of the total Soviet cotton output, reported that the cotton in the fields observed was in very good condition.

On the basis of preliminary estimates of crop conditions,appear favorableise in per capita availability of food for the consumption5 through There say also be some improvement In the quality of the diet. 5 aid-year report of plan fulfillment announced that during theperiod*5 milk yields on collective 'farms wereercent higher than they were for the same period'. Although the final increase in total annual production of milk, based on yields per cow, probably will be less than thatby this announced figure, some increase in per capitaor milk certainly Is to be expectedprovided that the supply of fodder during the coming consumption year is adequate to maintain or Increase the current indicated level of the production of milk.

Increases in the production of meat have also been reported. The success or failure in increasing the production of milk and meat la strongly dependent on the outcome of the corn program. Members of the US agricultural delegation reported thatesult of favorable weather much of the corn crop in the northern Ukraine and the North Caucasus looked good in late July. In other regions, such as the south central Ukraine, parts of the traditionally marginal Volga Valley, and the "new lands" ares of west Siberia and Kazakhstan, the corn won reported to be poor. In practically all urens visited by the US delegation the soil was dry, ond additional rain was necessary

to mature late crops such as corn. The substitution of corn acreage for that of other reed grains such as barley and oats makes itthut good returns be obtained from corn. Because of lack of machinery, much of the harvesting must be done by hand,ritical stage occurs during the harvesting period. Corn must be ensiled at the proper time to insure against spoilage and loss of nutrients. Another critical factor is that of early frosts, which would reduce materially the feeding value of immature corn.

egional point of view, over-all crop prospects appear to in the Ukraine and the North Caucasus (Regions III and IV*). In the early fallainfall was light in seme parts of the southern Ukraine and the north Caucasusa continuation of the summer drought which sharplyU yields in this area. Winter precipitation, however, was above normal, and spring and early summer rainfall was adequate to mature the small-grain crop. The US agricultural delegation reported good grain harvest prospects in the areas visted. In the harvesting process, however, there were difficulties caused byf the grain, and undoubtedly there were some harvesting losses. In the areas visited in the Ukraine and the North Caucasus, cornfields were reported to be in generally good condition, but late summer rains were needed to mature the crop properly.

Another indication of good harvests in the Ukraine and the North Caucasus is the fact that, onuly, Krasnodarskiy Kray, animpor-tant wheat area of the North Caucasus, reported fulfillment of its grain delivery quotaonths earlier than. Similarly, the Ukrainian SSR reportedonths earlier than last yearon5 compared withb.

In the Trans Caucasus (Regionon a

The term region in this memorandum refers to the economic regions defined and numbered on CIA1 (First, USSR; Economic Regions.

** The term lodging describes the condition resulting when stalks break or bend andangled mass which Is difficult to cut.

trip in late June reported that crop prospects were average to below average In Aaerbaydzban SSR and average in the Georgian SSR. of small grains was under way at the time of the observations.

The Baltic republics and Bclorussia (Region Ij) were plagued with excessive precipitation and btlcx;temperatures io the spring esult, there were serious delays In the planting and sowing of spring crops. uly reception for the US agricultural delegation, Lobanov, Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, stated that the Baltic States and Bclorussia were having "cropdue to bad weather." There are more recent indications ofimproved conditions,esult of which crop prospects in these republics appear to be slightly better than they were last year, when some of this area was adversely affected by drought.

In the Central region (Region VII), ts are believed

to be somewhat above average but no better than they were lastand winter precipitation in most of this region was normalnormal. In some areas of the central black soil beltobservers reported severe winter kill

of grains sown in the fallor harvest Many of these rields were being partly or entirely re-sown to spring grains. Precipitation during the spring and summer months appears to have been adequate for good crop growth. Members of the US agricultural delegation reported that in July crops along the route from Moscow to Khar'kov were in good condition.

In the lower and middle Volga Valley (Regionrops are expected to be better than they werehen droughtin some areas were officially reported. Fall and winter precipitation throughout most of the Volga region was normal or above normal. Early spring rainfall was somewhat below normal, but fairly good rainfall in May, together with accumulated soil moisture reserves, was adequate for at least an average crop for the regionhole. Members Of the US agricultural delegation reported that prospects for small grains in the Stalingrad (lower Volga) region were better than they wereU but about average for the areaeriod of years. In the Kuybyshev (middle Volga) region an official or the Ministry of Agriculture told the US agricultural delegation that the crops in the Kuybyshev area were slightly belter than they ware*ittle below the long-terra average.

he Urals region (Regionrop yields will be. ind are also likely to be below the long-

that aiva. Fall and" winter precipitation in the more

impor-:int grain areas of the Urals region was slightly below normal. Sprliv;early summer rainfall reported by many weather Stations was


only one-half to three-fourths of normal, and crop yields wereaffected. bservers traveling throughpart of the Urals region In June reported "dry, hot,conditions" and crops being seriously affected.

In West Siberia (Region IX) and the northern part ofX) the areas in which the "new lands" expansionrought conditions have sharply reduced yields of Pall and winter precipitation was generally favorable inlands" area of West Siberia and Kazakhstan, but springwas below normal. Hay and June precipitation was traveled through portions of the "new

lands" area in late June and reported very dry and dusty conditions. In August, Soviet agricultural officials told the US agricultural delegation that yields in the "new lands" areas visited were averaging only one-third to one-half of those tttained in VyjU At the July reception for the US agricultural delegation, Lobanov stated that "things are not going well concerning crop prospects In the 'new lands' urea, but the total harvest there will be larger because of the increased acreage sown."

II. European Satellites.

Information available as of5 indicates that in the European Satellites takenhole the production of field crops5 should be greater than that Fromune touly, just* before the harvest of smallhe weather was favorable, and prospects for production were much better than earlier estimates" Although frequent rain and thunderstorms over most of Eastern Europe during the latter half of July and the first part of August complicated and delayed harvesting operations and increased the risk of high harvesting losses, the lotc rains improved the prospects for potatoes, sugar beets, oilseed, corn, and hay crops.

The production of grain in East Germany and Czechoslovakia will be only slightly higher than the4 level, but in Poland there mayore substantial increase. Theoot crops (sugar beets and potatoes) in the northern European Satellites should equal ors" levels, and an increase in hay crops should provide an Improved livestock fodder base.

Wheat, rye, barley, unci oats.

For serially numbered source references, see tin*

The estimated increase in the production of grain is not expected to be large enough to meet the Indigenous requirements of the northern European Satellites, and6 they probably will continue to be not Importers of grain. In general, food suppliesill not fulfill urban requirementsarticularly for meat, animal fats, and vegetable oils.

-The present over-all prospects of agricultural production in the southern European Satellites (Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania)5 suggest that harvests will be slightly better than the below-normal harvests-

Inubstantial increase in the production of grain la expectedesult of acreage expansion and better yields than those- la Hungary, Bulgaria, and Albania there probably will be very little change in the level of production. Root crops, however, are progre&sirg favorably in all countries except Albania, and theof corn, sugar beets, and potatoes willevels. In Albania, below-normal precipitation has prevailed since the spring, and prospects for root crops and pastures arc relatively poor.

An Improvement in the food supplyay occur in Rumania and Bulgaria, but the present outlook for crop production in Hungary and Albania indicates that llttlu or no improvement can be expected.

On the whole, the statistical outlook for the Europeanood supply situation slightly better than that ofEuropean Satellites, however, will still be dependent on imports of meat, fats, and oils to maintain or increase per capita consumption of these commodities5 levels. Except for Bulgaria and Rumania, moreover, the European Satellites will continue to be net importers of grain duringonsumption year.

A- Albania.

The harvest of small grains in Albania5 probably will be no larger than last year's better-than-average crop,light increase in the total sown acreage. Weather conditions are the primary cause of less favorable yields per hectare. Theof corn and root crops5 Is expected to be no bettor than average.

Although fall conditions in Albania were favorableood start for grainrier-than-normal spring and summer probably have retarded plant growth and undoubtedly will reduce yields.his will be especially significant for the spring-sown crops.

The below-normul precipitation in the spring and summer also will have an adverse effect on the yields of the corn, potato, and sugar beet crops. The expected decline in the production of corn, the second largest grain crop in Albania, is predicatedecrease in the sown area and the effects of weather on yields. 3/ arge part of the sugar-beet area reportedly is underess-than-normal supply of water undoubtedly will reduce yields.

The gross agricultural output for Albania5 has been planned officially to rise approximatelyoercent over that/ Judging from present crop prospects,elatively static level in the development of the agricultural sector is expected.

Imports of agricultural products by Albania, therefore, are expected to continue at approximately the same level as importsthe trade* throughnd thefood situation does not appear to be any more favorable than it was.

B. Bulgaria.

1 The harvest of small grains In Bulgaria5 is expected to be no better than the productionhich was about average, despite the favorable weather in the fallb and the earlyof spring crops Adverse weather conditions after spring planting have reduced the possibility of an excellent harvest.

A cool, wet spring, followed by below-normal rainfall during April and May, retarded plant growth. 5/ In certain areas there were untimely rains at harvest time, and harvesting losses through spoilage and shattering of grain (because of overripe heads) probably will be heavier than normal. 6/

The production of row cropscorn, sugar beets,5 should equal the productionb and may be better. There are Indications, however, that insect damage to sugar beets has been unusually heavy and may reduce yields, 7/

Although the gross agricultural production for Bulgaria5 has been planned to7 percent over that/ present indications are that only an average crop year nay belight Increase io the total agricultural production, however. Is predicated on the basisrobable rise in total production of livestock and dairy products.

The export of agricultural products by Bulgariarobably will show an increase over that. Early in-forantion suggests that Bulgaria will compete with the WoBt formarketseelers have been sent to Austria stating that early deliveries are possible.

C. echoslovakla.

The outlook for agriculture in Czechoslovakiahat over-all production, particularly of grain, may not be any better than the below-average production Nature has once again defeated government effortB to raise the levels of

The failure of the agriculture campaign in the fall4 to fulfill sowing and plowing plans was admitted officially by Prime Minister Siroky. An early spring5 would have enabled farmers to increase the acreage of spring grains,ate spring delayed field operations by nearlyays. The cold, wet weatherhe growth of crops seeded in the fall4 for harvest5 und prevented the early growth of crops seeded in the spring

The entire spring was characterized by growing conditionsfor cropsbelow-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. Betweenune anduly the weather wasTor grain development, but aboutuly, the time that small grains were ready for harvest in southern Slovakia, there were rain and ball storms which caused the grain to become lodged, andrains occurred over most of Czechoslovakia during the next month-American Bnbassy observers reported that in Bohemia as muchf the grain was lodged. 9/

The heavy rainfall prevented the use or heavy machinery in the fields and delayed grain harvesting past the ripening stage. or grains probably occurredarge scale, and the harvesting or the wet grain will increase losses through spoilage. The adverse

effect of the weather on the gruin harvest is veil illustrated by the statement made by the Minister of Agriculture, Marek Smida,ugust: "The people's Joy at the good harvest is being poisoned by the changeable and inclement weather at harvest Claimsountiful harvest made in July by Communist officials have been modifiedtatement made by the Central Committee to the effect that "production of grain will be higher than last/ there maylight increase, depending on the extent of harvesting losses, thepercent increase in grain yields will not be achieved.

With present soil moisture reserves and normal weatherthrough earlyhe production of sugar beets, potatoes, hay, and pasture should exceed the levels The harvesting of grain will moke serious demands on the agricultural labor and machinery normally required for harvesting root crops and for preparing the fall planting before winter sets in.

, Czechoslovakia will once again be dependent on Importsignificant share of the food requirements of the urban population. esult of good spring and fall pastures, there may be an increase in the slaughtered weight of animals, and theof meat6 may be influenced favorably.

D. Bast Germany.

' In East Germany the production of field cropsith the possible exception of sugar beets, may be slightly larger than the poor harvests The mild winter and above-normal precipitationood start to grain seeded in the fall4 for harvest In contrast to the high losses from winter kill1 winter killasinimum. ate spring,plant growth and prevented fulfillment of spring planting plans. In addition, shortages of spring seed grain and seed potatoes restricted the size of the sown

Cool, relay weather during May and June retarded both the growth of most spring-sown crops and the maturing of fall-sown grains Sunny weather and below-normal precipitation in July, however, was beneficial to all crops, particularly to the maturing of grains. The outlook for yields brightened to the extent that in early August It was estimated that the yield of bread grains would exceed the levels

There have been difficulties in the harvesting of grain in East Germany- Frequent rains during August, the lifting of early and medium potatoes coincident with grainonsequent labor shortage have all complicated the harvesting and threshing of grain. The result has been increased losses andmilling-quality of bread* grains, but at this time there is not enough available information to permit determination of the extent of these losses. On the Other hand, the rains should have benefited late potatoes, sugar beets, and pastures.

Although the potato crop in East Germany will be better than it was, the production of sugar beets may not be so large asbthe beet crop has been attacked by anof beet

Fall work is being delayed by the later-than-normalof late potatoes, sugar beets, and hay. esult, the plowing and seeding of grains (wheat, rye, and barley) in the fall5 for harvest6 will have to be done in about one-half of the time normally available.

E. Hungary.

The crop of small grains in Hungary5 is expected to be only moderately higher than last year's very poor crop. han-normal grain yields are expected becauseate spring followedrolonged dry spell extending into June. Theseretarded the proper development of grain, particularly that seeded in the springV In addition, the unseasonably cold and wet weather ut harvest time and the lack of adequate storage and drying facilities undoubtedly caused larger-than-normallosses.

The late-maturing row crops, including sugar beets, potatoes, and corn, have benefited, however, from the added soil moistureJuly and The development of these crops appears to be favorable, and indications pointeasonably successful

In terms of gross agricultural output in Hungary, however, the prospects for the present harvest indicate that thecrcent increaseI1 will not be The major shortcoming is likely to be the below-average crop of small grains.

whichin terns or valuestill represents the bulk of grossoutput.

On the basis of. present estimates, Hungary again mayet importer of grains duringrade year. With heavy Imbalances and overextended credit existing because of last year's drought, the below-normal grain harvest for the present year will make it increasingly difficult for Hungary to repay its creditors and to maintain adequate supplies for internal needs.

A preliminary estimate of the food situation in Hungary for the consumption5 throughherefore, indicates that there will be no improvement over that of theyear. Total consumption of grain and grain products may,decline somewhat, especially if imports are necessary in order to fill the gap caused by inadequate indigenous production.

F. Poland.

The production of grains and sugar beets in Poland5 probably will exceed the levels, but the production of potatoes and fruit will be less. Weather during July and August was favorable to the maturing and harvesting of grain, and the outlook for the grain crop is now more promising than were earlier Theindicates that the production of grainarticularly of rye, will be above the levels4 and may be the besthe hot, dry weather, excellent for grain harvesting, is having aneffect, however, on the development of potatoes and sugar

ate, cold, rainy spring, which reduced the sown area of grain and roothe weather turned warm and sunny. This weather permitted small grains to mature and to be harvested with minimum loss. The dry weather* and above-normal temperatures cameime, however, when sugar beets and potatoes require moisture. The root crops had been planted late and had not developed the extensive root system which would have protected them during the droughtprevailing in August.

It is probable that total production of the four majorn Poland will not achieve the plannedpercent

" Precipitation in the main agricultural areas for July and August was estimated atndercent, respectively, of* Wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

increase5 productionrimarily because the expansion in sown acreage was not realizedut it may achieve the planned yield-per-hectare increase for bread grains ofercent.

The production of root crops and fruit5 will be below the levelsb. The reduced production of root crops will have an adverse effect on the supply of fodder available for supporting the livestock base. Rains byeptember nay have improvedfor sugur beets but were too late to affect potato yields materially.

G. Rumania.

The present outlook for5 harvest of bread grains in Rumania indicates that production will considerably exceed last year's below-normal harvest. The production of corn and root crops will approximate or will slightly exceed levelsb. Favorablehave beenpercent increase in the sown area of crops seeded in the fallb Cor harvest5 (primarily wheat and rye) and the reported rapid development during the favorable weather in July and August of the spring-sown crops which had been seeded under adverse weather

Harvesting losses of both spring- and fall-oowD grains (wheat, rye, barley, andowever, may offset somewhat the reported favorable condition of crops standing in the field. Heavy andrains fell during the peak period of harvests, delayingand causing some damage to crops in the Heavier-than-normal losses are anticipatedesult of probable overripening and of Inadequate preparations for the drying and storage of hurvested grains.

The production of the chief row crops, sugar beets, corn, and potatoes, is also expected to be higher this year thanU. in acreage and adequate reserves of soil moisture arc largely responsible for the favorable outlook. 2b/ Because of the reported higher inputs of fertilizers and the abundantignificant rise In the production of sugar beets Is more than The production of corn should also increase, barring any radical change from the normal weather pattern expected through harvesting.

Although preliminary crop estimates Tor Rumania5 favor an increaseb tervests, it is probableise of not more

ercent, io terms of the production of grain, can becompared with the estimated Rumanian planned increase of aboutercent in the production of grain5 over that

The expected increase in the production of grain shouldRumania's over-all trade position. , Rumaniaet importer of foodut the more favorable outlook for production5 should enable Rumania to becomeet exporter of food grains.

The over-all availability of food should also improve in Rumaniaespecially for the high-calorie foods, sugar and grain. Indications also pointossible drop in food prices.

III. Communist China.

Heather and crop information available as ofhat the over-all net production of food crops in Communist China will be higher than that' Favorable weather conditions during the latter part of the summer have improved prospectsroduction of food crops well above the levelsnd thereood possibility that the Chinese Communists will attain5 production target of an increaseercent above4 harvests.

winter crops harvested last June in Communist China wereas only fair to goodprimarily because of the cold weather and drought conditions of last winter and spring in various parts of the country. The outlookonsiderable increase in the production of summer crops, which comprise more thanercent of Communist China's annual production of food crops, appears very good. Most of the anticipated increases in the output of food, if achieved, will not more than offset the losses resulting from the severe floodshe net food crop loss4 was estimated to beo3 production,ercent increase5 will bring production back to about3 level.

The fall and winter4 in Communist China were characterized by severe weather as far south as the Yangtze Valley, planting prob-Yerw resulting frra undraincd lands as an aftereffect of4 floods, and drought conditions in virtually all areas of the country except the Yangtze Valley and Manchuria.

- 14

In the spring and summer5 thereevere drought in South China and heavy precipitation along the lower reaches of the Yangtze Valley, The spring drought in South China, particularly in the province of Kwangtung, was reported as the worst inears. Because of lack of rainfall the planting of early rice crops, which normally begins in February, was delayed in some areas as late as April and May. Heavy rainfall in May alleviated the conditionbut not enough to avoid considerable losses and low yields.

It was reported that despite the very dry spring, good winter wheat crops were harvested in Central China and North China. Yields were above average in Anhwei, Shensi, Honon, and Hopeh Provinces. Hupeh Province, which bore the brunt of4 flood, showed no increase In production.

Although the summer rainfall along the lower Yangtze Valley5 was less thanterious flood threat in July. With the exception of some minor flooding, however, there was little damage to summer crops. The rainfall was beneficial in that itsufficient water for irrigating the expanded acreage ofand late rice crops and other summer crops. Reportsthat these crops were very good.

In Manchuria, crop prospects appear to be about average, butwill probably be below the exceptionally good production

In general, the agricultural situation in Communist China5 has been characterized by an increased emphasis on the expansion of the area of cultivated land; increasingly bitter competition for land among grains, cotton, and ediblelower pace in the organization of Agricultural Producers' Cooperatives until after the fall harvests; stepped-up efforts to increase the production of those items, ouch as meat and oilseeds, needed by the Sino-Soviet Bloc; and an increase in the production of all crops.

It is already evident that5 the state will set quotas Tor the procurement of grain from eacheparture from the4 practice of collecting grain that was considered surplus to the needs of the formers. The long-term outlook for farm productionhowever, is not bright.

According to the Pelplng regime, the slate procuredillion metric tons of husked grain and soybeans in the foodU through Of this amount,illion metric tons wore returned to the rural markets,5 million metric tons wereto urban markets. In the coming crop year, Communist China plans to maintain food procurement at aboutevel while reducing allocations to rural markets. In this way the Communist regime hopes to increase the grain supply to the urban markets and thus to offset somewhat the opposition to the new rationing program.

Agricultural failures in the past have prevented the Chinese Communists from creating large food reserves. Becauseoor harvestU and the consequent widespread food shortages, the government has had difficulty in acquiring enough food for its more important needs.

In view of the limited amount of capital investment that the Chinese Communists arc willing to allocate to agriculture, the long-range prospects for agricultural production arc not good. If this policy is continued, there probably will be little or no increase in per capita consumption of food over the nextears.

IV. Worth Vietnam.

Weather and crop information available as5 indicates that North Vietnam again Isajor setback in its food supply.

In those areas of Indochina controlled by the Viet Minn, there were severe drought conditions during the crop year, and grain seeded in the fallb for harvest in5 (May and June) wasaffected. This drought also affected crops to be harvested in October. The emphasis placed on the expansion of acreage and on the priority restoration of irrigation systems was not sufficiently effective to offset the drought damage which reduced the harvests in May and June.

The Viet Minh claimed that in some areas production goals were met, but they admitted that most of North Vietnam suffered from poor harvests. In addition, the premature consumption of spring crops by hungry peasants has tended to accentuate the continuing shortage of rice in both urban and rural areas.


Rtn for the fall harvest (October) also appear to be poor.eptember, heavy rains In the interior mountains had raised the water levels of the Blaek and Claire Rivers, the two principalof the Red River, tondeet, respectively. The normal high-water level of these two rivers Isoeet. Upstream the Red River was rising at the ratenches an hour, and in the Tonkin Delta the water level at Hanoi was alreadylood level ofeet.

There have been no reports of breaches In dikes and noabout the flood-fighting ability of the government, butflooding of agricultural lands appears inevitable, with effects disastrous to the production of fall rice. oss wouldajor setback for Horth Vietnam, which is already suffering from three consecutive crop failures.

- 17




Evaluations, following the classification entry and designatedave the following significance:

Source of


- Documentary

Confirmed by other sources



Probably true



Possibly true





usually reliable

Probably false



Cannot be judged


be judged

Evaluations not otherwise designated are those appearing on the cited docuraer.t; those designated "RR" arc by the author or this memorandum. No "RR" evaluation is given when the author agrees with the evaluation on the cited document-

Summary of World Broadcasts,,.

Eval. RR 3.

Sumaary,. C. Eval. RR 3.

9. Stute, Prague. Eval. RR 3.

Dally Report (USSR and Eastern.R 3.

. HH 2. Eval. RR 3.

/ Eval. RR 3.

13- * FDD, Summary, no Eval. RR 3-


Dally report (USSR and Eastern,

9RR 3.

Warsaw. 5RR 3-

Dally He port (USSR and EasternRE 3.

Weather Bureau. Daily Weather Kaps. U. Eval. RR 1.

Summary, no2R 3.


Dally Report 1USSR and Eastern,

RR 3.

34. , Eval. RK 3.

25- o0RR ^.


Original document.

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