1954 CROP CONDITIONS IN THE SOVIET BLOC (RR IM-400)

Created: 10/15/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

ROP CONDITIONS IN THE SOVIET BLOC

CIA/RR54

WA.tr;:sc --

NATIONAL DEFENSE HEARING OF THE,

iTTED BY LAV.

INFORMATION AFFECT:

THINSC, SECS.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports

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This ibp mo rand ue ic on analysis of thc condition of growing crops In tbe Soviet Bloc and lo based on available information about weather and other factors affecting crop yields in the Soviet Bloc. ualitative statement, it reflectseneral way the prospects for the food supply of the Soviet Bloc for the consumptionU through Quantitative estimates of production, baaed on acreage as well as yield, will be madeater report. Thc general statements contained ln this memorandum regardingaffecting crop development are Indicative of tbe field crop potential of the Soviet Bloc as of mid-July Xfih.

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rop corornoKs ik the sovtei1 bloc*

Crop prcductionIn.the Soviet Bloc is tentativelyto vary from about the name as3 in the USSR and slightly

uropean Satellites tu considerably3 Iniet China. Generally speaking, tbe efforts of the USSR and the European Satellites during the first year of the. "new course" to raise agricultural production have not been successful. It ls estimated that io these tvo areas the food situation,er capitalll be less favorable than Cecminist China, where there haserious drop ln productionesult of floods,edrospect of famine ln various areas in the spring

r. ussii.

Weather and crop information as ofU indicates that yields of major crops Bill varysomewhat less than lost yeor'n to about the same, butesulteneral increase ^acreage

tM Production of major^ crops will probably be-close to3

Grain production probably will not be above Last year's relatively poor harvest even though thererain acreage expansion of

bu. affecting other areas of theSSR as well, the average grain yield willbe lee. lhan last year's. Tne betW-uL-

conclunlom. contained in this memorandum rem-

sent the best judgment or the responsible analyst as ofugust3 Production of grain was bciowrevious years .Potatoes

Zarr.hT'Wcreproduction was

equal to the postwar high

average yields Lo West Siberia and northern Kazakhstan, where the new acreage expansion program is under way, will not fully offset the poor harvest in other areas.

The potato and sugar beet crops, largely concentrated inUSSR, suffered because of the May-June drought, buthave recovered fully because .of above-average July rains. 1ia too early to estimate definitely the produc-

tion prospects of these two crops. It is believed, however, that production may be about the same as It was last

The cojbtott crop has been hampered by unfavorable weather bothirrigated and unirrlgated. lanee. Although -acreage was slg- *lc antiy'expanded, especially 'In the Irrigated1 areas, itproduction vlll be about the'same as';J; -r

.

The prospects^for arise'* In per capita food: intake are dim foronsumption year. Unless the government releasesreserves of grain and other food products and/or transports food frem surplus areas to relieve the drought-stricken areas of the Ukraine, by the springhere mayamine conditions ln parts of the Central Ukraine and perhaps in. other localized areas. Because of aharvest of^hay and straw (n, the. .drought areasagging of fodder accumulations ln other areas, livestock numbers and livestock productivity will not increase enough to raise meat arid -dairy product consumption--'with the'possible exception of temporary local increases resulting from heavy pre-winter slaughtering-

The Ukraine (Regionas sufferedajor drought during the Important stages of this year's crop development. Early growth of fall-sown grains, hinderedack of summer and fall moisture, had not developed fully by the advent ofesult, one of the coldest winters on record caused un abnormal amount of winter kill of fall-sown grains and required extensive resowing thisate spring, coupledelow-normal accumulation ol" soli moisture reserves, made both fall- and spring-sown grains vulnerable to poor growing conditions during the critical months of May and June, lo late May and all of June tbe combination of high temperatures and

" The term region in this report refers to the economic regionsand numbered on CIA1 (FirstSSR: Economic Regions.

rainfall far below normal created drought condlttonc seriouslygrain yields. Agricultural officers of

after an extensive survey of crop conditions inuaraiue.that crop yields will not exceed two-thirds ofthe corn crop was not rejuvenated by July rains it" mayfurther damage, exd yields of com possibly will beone-half of

In the Southeast (Lowerorth CaucasusRegion IV)apparently range from poor to good. The droughtthc Ukrainian groin harvest extend over into theregions of Western and Northern Rostov and the northernindicate that the corn

crop isearin the Lower Don area near the Azov bea and that small grain yields will be about one-half of average Counterbalancing these poor yields are much better prospects for the rest of the Kuban' and North Caucasus aroa, where adequate soil moisture reserves from thc fall-winter season, combined with good May rains, have resulted in fair to good yields. Grain yieldscorn) probably will be average for the Important Southern Kuban area and the Stavropol' Kray and will be above overage in the southeastern provinces along the Caspian Sea. hole average yields for this important area will probably bo about the same as3 but considerably below the excellent yields

n Jf* Transcaucasusields of grain may bethan3 andindicate good

crop conditions in Azerbaydzhan &SR and the Georgian SSR.

The West Baltic andRegions lis and irb) also have been partially affected by drought this year. Grain yield prospects are believed to behichin turnwere below the long-run average.

*v * ' the Central RegionRegion VII) the prospectiveare believed to be somewhat above average but about thelast year. Normal to above-normal May rainfall, preceded byaccumulation of soil moisture from the fall-winterwas sufficient to withstand the hot and dry Junea series of field trips through the southern two-thirdsregion, including al Black Soil Zone,culturalCrop condl.ious

as lair to good. Apparem-ly only the southern half of Voronezh

.Sn!L^ erCdne droue'lt conditions that* yields- Thc Central RceIon in general ia susceptible to poor harvesting conditions. If harvesting Isbecause of inclement weather, the actual yield may be lower than is presently indicated.

ylelds of "Inter grains prob-

J ^ hQn ln Moisture reserves as of lately

ItT wly high yield of winter CCUrred the last two years. Spring grain yieldislightly better than last

lclds Possibly will be the some asnetter-tnan-average year.

West Siberia (Region DC) and the northern parts of regions in vhich the. land reclamationthis year for the expansion of grain acreage hasintensively carried out. Although there hasackin weather conditions over this area-during May,^ if bellevede conditions bavTbeensowing moisture accumulations probably were bove-normal precipitation during

the^growing season. Despite some tardiDess in spring sowing because of inclement weather aad the confusion attending the organllaWon^ of work on new areas, crops are believed to have developed nor-maiiy; the somewhat below-normaluly temperatures aiding

arTh^tf1Prospects

are both better than average and better than The actual harvested yield will depend on late August and September," ftenharvestingncluding the possibility

*

early fall weather conditions may determine the size of the crop.

IT- European Satellites.

OP Information as ofugust

It is expected that the over-all crop production of the European SatellitesU will be slightly less than in

crop production was better2 production for most of the area, but1 and prewar levels.

B-T-

of the reduction will result froa lower yields of bread grains, oats, barley, early vegetables, and fruit. Weather conditionsthe latter part of August and September will determine whether or not yields of corn, root crops, late vegetables, and forage crops will be3 levels. Insect Infestations, plant diseases, and inadequate weed control-caused by frequent rains and low temperatures could result in extensive .damage and reduction in yields to late crops, but the situation cannot be appraised accurately at this time.

The fall and winter3 was characterized by below-normaland low temperatures, which caused underfulf JJJiaent of fall plowing and sowing plans; andack of snow cover, which caused extensive damage to winter wheat and barley. Conditions in the spring were no better, retarding spring planting ayeeks and retarding the development of fall- and spring-planted -crops.

During the latter part of June and theeeks of July, rainelay in the. harvest and threshing of fall-sown grains. This delay is expected to result in high harvesting losseseduction tn the quality of the grain. In addition, the wet fields haveproper cultivation, weeding of row crops, and drying of cut hay. The increase-in soil moisture, however, should be beneficial for late crops (potatoes, sugar beets, and com).

Ill order to simplify the regional presentation and to grouphaving similar crop systems, the European Satellites haveinto two areasnorthern and southern.

Area (Bast Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia).

the northern area of the European Satellites the weather in the fall3 was very dry. in contrast to the fallhen the weather was extremely wet, thereby Interfering with field work, the warm, dry weather which prevailed during the fall and early winter monthsas more favorable for thc sowing of winter grains and for plowing. Because of the lack of adequate moisture in some areas, however, the Beed planted early did not germinate, and rcseeding was required.

3 winter was unusually cold and dry, and there wassnow cover for fall-sown grains in East Germany and This condition caused losses of grain through winter kill. East Germany officially set losses5 percent for wheat,

ercent for barley, and W. percent forrape). from winter kill probably occurred In Czechoslovakia, where there was more adequate snow cover for the crops,Jrom winter kill was much

A4 spring retarded the growth of winter grains and delayed spring field work byeeks throughout tbe northern area, Poland was thc only northern Satellite where temperatures were favorable for crop development. By June, grain

^vaaced in Poland than in either Eastof the cold spring was

that it reduced the rate of evaporation of soil moisture.

.The late, cold spring1 requiredarge amounthort period of time. This, it is believed,underfulfillment of sowing and planting plans. Under the larger areas were to be planted to fodder crops,beets, .and tho like, but the lack of labor,time prevented this

Heavy rains and wind during the firstays of July and rains during tbe remainder of the month have created unfavorable harvesting conditions for small grains. Throughout the area, grain was lodgednd lowlandk wore flooded. Mechanical harvesting has been handicapped, and the lack of farm laboron collectives and State farmswill.delay harvesting. Heavy harvesting losses can be expected under such conditions. of the high moisture content of threshed grain, additional losses can be expected in storage if the grain is not properly dried.

, .hovc wt back the planting of late crops, weeding

and thinning of sugar beets, and cultivation of row crops. The in-creased soil moisture, however, should be beneficial to potatoes, hoy crops, vegetables, and sugar beets during theonths.

excessive rainfall ban

caused tnein the case of

cereax crops; losses were estimated, atoercent of the lOSfc

thlSuouldsiwblc reduction In tne yields per hectare of grain crops in Czechoslovakia andther Satellites where similar weather conditions have prevailed

Grain production ln East Germany and CzechoslovakiaU will probably not be any larger thanlightly

larger sown area. It is believed thatesult of higherand increases in plant diseases, grain yields will Despite expected high harvesting losses, Poland willa slightly better grain crop than thathich was Bay crop productionill be much better than insugar beets, and forage crops is.still'

B' Southern Area (Hungary. Rumania, Bulgaria, and Albania).

, ,SOUibf5^area the European Satellites,ccnslderably.less than in the fall Between August andn average of less than

f^f. ormalprecipitation.was registered over most of the agricultural area. Snow cover for winter grains did not occur until late3 and

The dry weather delayed seeding of winter grains (wheat, rye, and barley) and made plowing for spring crops difficult. ffSfc'P^OS Plans for the southern area were not fulfilled. In addition, the cold dry weather was not beneficial for the germination and growth of winter grains.

_ AJatfold flPring delayed spring field work and retarded tbo development of fall-sown crops. Hungarian officials claimed that winter barley had experienced the worst damage for many years. Winter wheat was also damaged and some areas had to be re-seeded. In the southern area, Hungary experienced the most dsmapc to fall-seeded crops, and Rumania followed.

A late spring, combined with the underfulf iliment of fall plowing and sowing plana and winter-kill damage to reseeded grain areas, created an above-normal amount of spring work-to be done. Bulgaria was the only country which claimed over-all fulfillment

l8nS- The Planting rood crops resulted in underfulflliment of plans for planting industrial crops. Because

PrIOe' COFn WQS Planted in Place ofbarley, oats, and wheat in some areas of Hungary and Rumania.

The cold, dry spring* was followed by heavy rains and hail during the firstays in July, which caused the grain to lodge

" 0nly month in which above-normal precipitation was

registered for allxcept Bulgaria. Temperatures were more favorable in Bulgaria.

and delayed harvesting of both grain and hay crops. Tn Hungarya small portion of the crop area vas damaged by floods- Heavy losses can be expected for bread grains and barleyesult of premature harvesting that occurred in flooded arena; over-ripening of grains Ln the field where harvesting haa been delayed* and possible rotting tn shocks, from the wet weather in Hungary and parts of Rumania'*during July. Bulgaria aod Albania did not experience heavy rains in July, and although harvesting losses were reduced, thereeal need for precipitation during August end September,atisfactory corn crop-.

Although the wet weather has set back the cultivation of corn and other row crops in louigary and Rumania, therebyeeding problem, the Increase in soil moisture was badly needed for'all late

crops.* * - "vi

In general, small grain yieldsrc estimated to be below those3esult of the unfavorable weather conditions for growth, development; and harvesting. Although, it is-too-early toirm forecast, it is believed that given warm, weather and normal precipitation during August and September, yields better than those3 can be expected, for corn, potatoes, sugar beets, fiber, and late vegetable crops.

III. miinHSt

A preliminary review of the crop production situation in Communist China as ofndicates that^ net foodmay he as mucho 3fi million tons8elow that* This drop In production is the result offlood damage ln the basins of two of China's major rivers, the Yangtze and the Husi- The Increased production expected from the areas unaffected by floods has been more than offset by the inundation of acreage that normally produces someoillion tons of food.

This .tentative estimate is based on the following analysis.

In the first'four months, Communist China had favorable weather. esult* winter crop harvests wereercent greater thaninter crop

* See CIA/RRffect ofloods on Agriculture in Communist China,U. Confidential-

** Approximately hi million tonss compared withillion tons The winter crops are wheat, barley, oats, field peas, broadbeans, and rape seed. The winter crops constitute betweenndercent of Communist China's production of food.

Extensive snows fell throughout the Northwest/ North, East, ond Northeast Administrative Regions. .These relatively heavy snows over' the northern third of China seemed-to-.assure sufficient groundfor favorable germination of spring wheat and other' cummer crops.

The heavy snows, however, also had adverse effects. -They brought spring floods In certain areas of. Elnklangs. aMin theTnBOT Autonomous Region they made necessary on air-drop- to provide food suppllos.to herdsmen and feed supplies to hard*hit livestock areas. Although there is no evidence of real disaster, it le possible that death losses in grazing areas were greater than normal.

Beginning in*ndihg through May, the SOuth China coast had excessive rainfall. Total rainfall in KVongtung, Kwangsi and Kukien for the month of April ranged from about:nchesnches oyer large parts of the area. rainfall isimes the record for April in many previous years. Severe local flooding apparently occurred in Kwangtung as early as the first half

In May, this belt of rainfall passed over the lower Yangtze Basin but did not cause flooding, une,eries of stationary fronts* resulted in excessive, rainfall'over the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The normal June rainfall at Wuhan for past years hasnches-. -The rainfall in Juneeached aboutnches, and excessive precipitation continued veil into July.

As of, serious flooding and flood control problems have been reported by the CommunistsrovincesRupeh, Hunan Anhwci, Chekiang, Kiangsi, Honan, Kiangsu, and Shantung.

The extent of tbe flood disaster is difficult toll three of the great river basin areas of Middle and North China,

Wehese fronts were the line of demarcation between two different air masses. elatively cold continental air masselatively warm moist air mass were adjoining over the Yangtze Basin for much ofmonth Of June.

" .is doubt-

rui <as ofugust) whether the Chinese Communists arc more than roughly aware of thc extent of the damages.

hce been affected. ugust

"SnSf lheaid' 'Wfecbed by Wze

(and) Hvroi /Buol/ floods (are) areas-(that) moke up cJ. percent ofthe other,eWem^thrArS^^

ias estimated thatercent of china's^ total cultivated acreage in China isestimates .Of hectares

.ir^Tv. stablished astUion-admittod.andillion estimated by rmed forcesOUcewlse'estl-

mated the cro, ^se xflr the year at E7 rn^aon tons.-Using-the .

ectareummer crops, aestimate,ona.of production per hectare la derived for themost,fcrlag from floodAccording.on. cultivated acreage, thlfl.would loss, of 9mLUioa.

.Careful evaluation of the available evidence suggests theof hectares flooded: the Yangtzeo 8Msin'tbe Yellow River

ased oa the assumption that tbe Yangtze flood approximately the .magoltudo and severity of1 Yangtze

e Ccrwunlsta have not SenSe'.toWl^Iihs^ and frcawthat Point downriver to then the belief that the Communists .have succeeded in protecting the area east of the Grand Canal ln Northern Anhvci and Klangsu, and on the belief that the area north and east of Pou-Yang In northern Anhwel.has escaped flooding on the

1 flOCdB- 8 ^Iiaated that rhe flood^ in the Huai Basin Is approximatelyercent as severe as

" Rice, corn7 millet, kaoliang, soybeans, peanuts, and sweeton agrain equivalent basis, ore the'summer crops used in Sis average production per hectare. Eight provinces have been listed

CiDSoned in flood ^Ports. The provinceIn this crop production average is Shantung.

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On the basinons of production per hectare the eatlnated. crop loss would beoillion tons. This loss is0 percent of Conaunist China's average annual food crop production. Although the winter crop results provide come offset, (aboutnd although the upper North China plain and Manchuria appear on the wayuch better crop production year thanhe floods ln Central Chinaajor disaster.

XV. Ccrraunlst Vietnam.

The entire area of North Vietnam hasry winter, and the majority of spring crops appear to have been severely damaged. There arc prospects that the "fifth mouth" rice nay be as low asercent of normal, which would be the worst crop since the famine year of ly-o-

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APPRO! X

. The anaOycea,nd conclusions contained in thisarc based on the following sources: monthlyrom Air Heather Service, Andrews Field; telegrams and despatches from American Missions in Soviet Bloc countries; FBIS, daily and weekly publications, and FDDof Soviet Bloc newspapers.

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