Created: 11/1/1977

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Agriculture-Related Pollution In the USSR

Project Officer



The expansion and modernization of Soviet agriculture have Increased food production but have resulted In serious environmental pollution. Furthermore, pollution from agricultural sources Is on the increase ond, despite expressions of concern at the highest levels of the Soviet Government, little Is being done to control It effectively. Agricultural production requires the use of major pollutants such as mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Because such production Is so vital lo the Soviets, It is unlikely that they will effect any significant changes In farming techniques that favor the environment at the expense of harvest goals.

Noteieiulteorganisation, effective llntelligence publication* formerly lined by the Directorate of Intelligence and by the National Intelligence Officer, an now being Uived by the National Foreign Auriimcn! Center.


Modern agriculturereat Impact on the environment. The basic purpose of agriculture, Ino manage port of the environment In order to meet man'i needi for food and fiber.he undesirable effects of thisplant nutrient! In water, residual chemlcali In food. Injury to nontarget species by chemical pesticides, Increased erosion and sedimentation from Intensiveare serious environmental problems.

The major forms of agriculturt-related pollution are discussed In this report. Emphasis has been placed on chemical pesticides, however,hey ate the most dangerous to man andesticide pollution isglobal problem, regardless of the country of origin of the particular pesticide Involved;orrelationountry'i level of agrochcmlcal technology and that country's potential contribution tn the world pesticide pollution problem. Thus, the attitudes end practices of the Soviet Union regarding the production and use of chemical pesticides affect not only the level of agricultural production bul also are of International concern.

report was Dteoored Jfit the Office of Scientific

J and coordinated within ClA. The cut-off dale for











Toxicity and Requirements for


Irrlgutlon and





Pollution Controls and



und TmlcWrs of Snvlet2

In Toxicity of Soviet



; ;

To determine ihe extent of Soviet agriculture-related pollution and IU Impact oni


from agriculturalalor cause of environmental disruption In the USSR. Moreover, such pollution Is on the Increase and, despite expressions of concern at the highest levels of government,eing done to control this type of pollution effectively. No changes of consequence In Soviet farming methods that favor the environment are expected In the foreseeable future, thus assuring further agriculture-related environmentalThe Soviets ore concerned about their environment, but their overriding priority Is to Increuse agricultural production.

In terms of economic damage to the USSR, natural soil erosionsedimentation, which are greatly aggravated by modern agriculture, probablyfor the greatest losses, but water pollution Is the most pressing environmental problem In the USSR. More Soviet research is needed In the specific area of agricultural pollutants.

Of the agriculture-related pollutants In the Soviet environment, chemical pesticides are the most hazardous to man. flora, and fauna. Soviet production and use of pesticides have Increased yeorty, and residual tnilc chemicals such at diehlotodlphenyltri-cblonwlhane (DOT) and hesachlorocyclohexane (HCCH) have been reported as contaminants In food, water, and soli at levels believed to be hazardous to the health of mon and animals, Faced with evidence of the undesirable consequences of pesticide use, the Soviet Government hat placed restrictions on applying compounds having proven environmentally disruptive sidehese restrictions, however, are either Inadequate or not always adhered lo.and misuse of chemical pesticides appear to be common In the USSR. The Soviets are searching for alternatives to toxic agricultural chemicals andell-developed biological pest control program.Ihe chemical method for combating crop pests Is the leading method now In use In the USSR and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

The Soviet* claim that nutrient runoff from agricultural landotajor source of water pollution In the USSR. It toon will be, however, because bolh the use and loss of nutrients In the USSR are rising. Fertilizer consumption In thexpected to Increase greatly In the next decade, while the concentrations of livestock farm* and feed lots will resultoncomitant waste disposal problem.ime when US environmentalists stress the use of more animal wastes and less Inorganic fertilizer, theaking every effort to bring It* chemical fertilizer production and application up to levels which have resulted In pollution problems In the United States. At present, however, both countries still use synthetic chemical fertilizers primarily.

The animal waste disposal problem In the USSR has grown phenomenally In the past decade as the numbers of livestock have Increasedonservative estimate I* that moreillion tons of manure accumulate annually on livestock farms and feedloti. These waste* are associated wltii eutrophlcatlon of riven, fish kills, nitrateof soils and aquifers, dissemination of agents Infectious lo man and animals, and ^production of Insectoviet scientist* are stressing the use of animal waste as fertilizer and recycling It for use as

frcd uddltlve. The latterpreferable fronT the environmental itundpalnl becuute o( Ihe lunolf problem from fertilized land. Manure recycling Li In Hi Infancy In the USSR, however, and It will be atoean before It will contribute significantly Inward reducing ihe animal waste problem.

Because of past Soviet neglect and mismanagement of the land, erosion by both wind and water Is an Immediate threat to vast areas of croplands and Is probably the most urgent conservation problem facing Soviet plannen. Dust storms annually blow away millions of tons of fertile soil and damage or destroy crops. Water erosion, while acting more slowly, Is even more damaging. The Soviets estimate that erosion results In loves ofillionear In land, crops, and livestock as well as in damage caused by sedimentation and pollution In reservoln and waterways. Whilen Important factor, poor planning and Inferior scientific research and technology arc major reasons for the present serious conditions In the USSR. The Soviets are estimated to lag Ihe USoean In wind erosion reiearch. Their approach lo erosion control continue* to be bated on centralized directives rather than onloser relationship between local scientific organizations and local level production unlit. The Soviet* have been combating erosionumber of yean, and new control program* are being Initiated under theear plan. The iheer magnitude of cropland erosion In the USSR ensures that It willerious problem for Ihe foreseeable future.

Sallnlzatlon of soilsroblem In alt sreu of Irrigated farming In the USSR. It Iiparticularly serious problem In Turkmen, Uzbek, and other southern republics where nuturul drainage Is poor, rainfall Is low, and evaporation ii high. Thousands of hectares of Irrigated farmland periodically must be taken out of production, flooded, and drained In order to leach out millions of tons of contaminatingoil tnllnlt) In the touth Ii becoming more Intense each year, causing reduced yields and salt-polluted waterways. Pollution In the Caspian Sea has affected the production of cevla: and the fish Industry In general. Agricultural chemicals are contributing to the high salt content of the Caspian Sea because of runoff from treated lands. Soviet Industry also Is largely responsible for decreasing the Caspian Sea water level, thereby raising the salt concentration, by diverting Inflowing riven for use In Irrigation and production plants.

Legislative controls aimed at curbingdisruption In the USSR were Initiated some yean ago. In most Instances, Soviet standards are much more stringent than those In the US. Enforcement of such strict standards, however, I* almost impossible, and the Soviets arc expending little or no effort In this direction. Strict enforcement Is avoided to prevent the unacceptable losses In food and fiber that would occur, and protection of the environment Is entrusted to the Industrial and agricultural ministries whose activities are themselves the major polluters. Considering Its recurring agricultural crises, the USSR cannot be expected to protect Its environment from agricultural pollutants at the expense of food production. If realistic control standard! ore not established and enforced by the Soviets, tittle Improvement can be expected In the present state of agriculture-related pollution,


The USSR has environmental pollution problems that are as extensive and severe as those In the United States. The main source of this pollution probably li Industrial and human wastes but. In bothhe leu obvious pollution from agriculturalay exceed the aggregate from municipal and Industrial sources.

The undesirable side eff-cts of modernave become serious environmental problems.SSR has the world's largest ongoing effort to modernize agriculture and Increase food production. Basically, food production can be expanded by planting more hectares, by Improving technologies for land-use, by harvesting greater yields from current croplands, and by using land-conserving technologies. The environmental problems associated with land-using technologies primarily Involve wind and water erosion and damage lo wildlife caused by drainage of wetlands. Nevertheless, land-conserving technologies create environmental problems because ol ihe huge quantities of agricultural chemicals required and liecause Irrigation resultsuild-up of salts In soil


water.imited extent, both are being pructlced In ihe USSR und each hai potentially detrimental confluence* for the environment.


The USSR Ii plagued with numerous agricultural peiti und hu* developed extensive control programs, mmlly based on chemicals.ifferent types of toxic chemicals ate recommended for use In Soviet agriculture. Thi* Israction ofo types used in ihe United States, nevertheless, the USSR use* only slightly less tonnage of agricultural pesticide* than the Unitedhe Tenth Five-Yearallsons nf (rule chemicals to be delivered to agriculture, upons*

Chemlcul pesticide* protect the crops butery dungrrnus source of contamination for man and hi*urthermore, chemical pesticide*nl(|ur position among the environmental ciinlumlnunts In thut they are produced for the sole purpose of Injection Into the environment as dusts, sprays, aerosols, granules, pellets, and baits. Adding to their negative Impact In the environment. Is the fact that pesttcldei are developed and valued for their deadly effect on livinghese toxic chemicals can be biologically active In extremely low concent rot Ions. Evidence now exists that most plant* will ubsorb ond translocate residual pesticides Indiscriminately from contaminated soils. Thus, It Is necessary to consider not only the short-term effects of pesticide* but also their residual properties, breakdown producti. and eventual fate. The undesirable consequences of using pesticides have led to some government restrictions In both the United States and USSR on applications of compounds having proven environlly disruptive tideurrently, and In the context of this report, the most difficult problem In modem agriculture Is to protect foodboth plan! andwater resources from pesticide

thin the obvious dangers ol highly poisonous material*handling "hem. It It noi known how pesMddrs bearhuman health. The oely sure consequence of long-trimpmhtrnt peillcidrt al Ir.Hi eneountered by IheIt the acquisition of residue* In tluuea and bodyreliable *Iudy ha*ausal association betweenof thne mlduci and humanhe fact thatproducend htrlh defeeli InI* certalnlv cause tor

Watm Contam isliteratureumber of reports concerning the presence of pesticides In sources of water supply, Most of the mujor waterways of the USSR carry persistent pesticides. The extent of this pollution, the trend In severity, and the probable effect on aquatic resources generally ore unknown. Pesticide pollution of lakes, estuaries, and Inland seas, such a* the Baltic and Caspian, may be even mart significant. Baltic seals containime* the concentration of DDT a* Canadian seals, and fish from the Baltic Sea have been

, found to haveigh concentration of dleldrinishing prohibition was Imposed In some areas,

i The future looks better Insofar as these two pesticides

' are concerned since their use has been discontinued or limited by the USSR and other countries having Baltic coastlines. Other major pesticides used by the Soviets In large quantities, such as there not necessarily leu toxic 'o marine life than the chlorinated hydrocarbons. For example, the dimethyl amine salts relatively

*afeg/l, but the butyl, ethyl, and Isopropyl

esters are toxic lo fish at1 i

Contamination of Irrigation systems In the USSR Is widespread. Soviet Investigations of the Kuban River Irrigation system In southeast RFSFR show that herbicides and their toxic metabolites used for chemical weeding of rice, although applied to only one field, will circulate over the entire Irrigation system In the course of one to threen Inlgatlon farming regions of the Todzhlk and Uzbek Republics, the pesticide content In the water of Irrigation ditches and canals often exceeds the maximum permissible norms byimes. Considerable quantities of organochturlne and organophosphorus pesticide residues have been found In the water and In mud deposits In the Ukraine and bclorussia, and an ethyl esteras discoveredeservoir In Kazakh SSR.1Because of an uneven distribution of water resources In the Soviet Union, iwater pollution by pesticide* In the soulh Is much more serious than that In the north. Water resources per Inhabitant of the USSR0 m1 per year, Injhe Ukraine, however, the averagenand In the Central Allan Republics as little' per person per year. The Soviets have stated that the reduction of water pollution by pesticides In these republics where Tanning Is Intensiveatter of great urgency.1

; Groundwater Is not as frequently contaminated 'wiih pesticides at surface water partly because of the soil's absorptive properties and partly because of the


length nf time It take* thr pesticide* to Infiltrate Into (lie soil. Nevertheless, according to tlte All-Union Wunt Protection Research Institute.umber of cases have been noted In which preparations In the fumlgantfor example,Infiltrated deep Into the soil and Into wolk At the Institute for Colloidal Chemistry and Water Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences, Ukrainian SSR, research toechnology for removing pesticides from drinking water has been carried out fornumber of years.11


Foodhas becomefor man to avoid assimilationarietyprimarily by Ingestion with food.ond their attendant phenomena ofconcentration, and concentration inshore many features withIn the US, organochtorlne pesticidesat detectable levels In all human foodsbeverages. Even human milk hasarts of DDT per million partimilk. Judging from some Soviet reports,In the USSR Is no better. Data oncontent of certain fruits and vegetables onIn Tudzhlk SSR show DDT Inercent oftested, percent of the cabbage, andof the melons: HCCH inercent ofsamples andercent of theercent of the onions and carrotsIn the murkcts of Dushambe, Tadzhlk.found to be contamltiated. Pesticide7 percent of all vegetableAnalyses for DDT, HCCH.and trlchlorfon showedg/kg. As for human milk,from the Crimea stutes that, on the average,of women tending vineyardsimesDDTimes as muchfrom copper-containing fungicides)the milk of Crimean milkmaids. InIt should be emphasized that thelamination problem Is not cenfined toIn the USSR. Although the Soviets offerA. I. Shtemberg, et.nstituteUSSR, pointed out that whileare subject to pesticide contaminationother types of food, the level of bulld-up ofIs higher In animal products

The prolonged retention of Ofganophnsphnrus pesticides In the fc*llanger of their entry Into plants, especially Into root and tuber crops. It has been


established that even tlie least persistentMUidn move from the toll Intu loott and lubers and can uccumutale and persist In Ihem for long periods. The Soviet researcher Mayer-Bode dies Information ,on the prolonged retention of pesticides In carrots: .dlaztnone (up to05ndbannedesidual quantities of thlophos (upg/kg) were discovered in potatreseeks ufter planting of treated tubers.krainian Research Institute of Plantiev, reports that potatoes planted In the 3rd andears after use of polychlorlplnene still showedresence of this Insecticide due to Its retention In the !

A number of Soviet authors note the highf some organophotphufus chemicals resulting from seating warehouse rooms and storedotably grains, Dlaztnone and Cldlal haveetention periods In stored grain and In theroduced from It.etained In Insectlcidal quantities In stored grain up toonths after treatment. The quantity of carbophos In the grain wasg/kg. In flourg/kg, and In baked breadg/kg. The high stublllty of pesticides In warehouses can be attributed to the low temperature and humidity, absence of light, and little movement of air."

In addition to chemical residues In foods there are some undesirable nulrllkmal effects of pesticides on crop plants. Pesticides that penetrate plant tissues can disturb the normal courseumber of physiological processes and change the plant't metabolism.articularly sensitive to herbicides ofood example. Soviet scientistseduction In protein content and amino odd composition of the grain following application of Banoclde andarley crop.1*

The Soviets clulm that the number of casesurmful centnml.iatIon of food by pesticides Isecreasing. In the, approximatelyercent of Soviet farm production containedesidues above lhc permissible hygienic norms.resent, the Soviets claim that ihebout 4

percent. Economically, ihe Soviets believeo rejecterceni than to reduce their chemical

defense. They esllmote lhat without at leastevels of chemical protection, crop losses fromould be many times greaterrjedlonilli perennial crop thortugesverall food problems, however.oubtful that the


Soviet* ure actually rejecting (hii contuminaled 4

Atw*taviation In the Soviet Union Is conducted no on enormous icale. Almost h; If of the country'} agriculturalreated with pr*;icidcs or fertilized from theoverage ofillion hecturei. The Sovleti claim :hat agricultural aviation In the USSR occupies flnt place In the world In terms of the numben of htctam (rested. Airplanes and helicopten now are included within lhc general system of machinery seiving to mechanize agricultural production. Aviation Is used Inercent of all chemical operations In Soviet ugrlculture.9 percent of all weed control, undercent of all plant protection was liccomplhhed through the use of aircraft. In addition, more lhanercent of all mineral fertlllzcn are applied from the air, and prrharvrst defoliation of coiton plants and certain other crops Is carried out almost exclusively by aircraft.1*

The most serious problem In agricultural aviation Involves tonic chemicals ihat drift beyond the treated ureus. Tiny particles of ihr chemicals are carried over distances ranging up torm and eventually are deposited by rainfall In waterways or the soil. It hrs been estimated that even In good weather as much asercent of the ip;oy above agricultural fields does not reach the target crop. The Increased use of herbicides tn the UFSR has resultedorresponding Inerruie In damage to semit've crops Ir the vicinity of areai that have been sprayed from the air. Also, accidental drifthemical such as endoiulfan can entirely eliminate fishmall body of water.1"

tn addition to damage.Io nontarget plants and nnlmali. aerial ipraylng presents hazards to humans other Ihun the agricultural worken themselves. Soviet Inal Inns carried out In the cotton-growing regions of Tadzhtk, SSR, revealed that particles of the organochlorirve Insecticide HCCH remained In the atmosphere five lo six days after aerial spraying. Atmospheric concentrations varied0 mg/m1 on the flnt dayg/m1 on the fifth day. For comparison, spraying from the ground pioduced concentrations of8espectively. The threshold of the effect of this toxic chemical on the electric actlvltv of the brain4 mt,/m'."

Despite the obvious harmful side effects of aerial uppllcullnn of chemicals,o Indication that ihe Soviet* Intend to reduce or even level off thrlf use of till* method. In Fact, the Soviet program for (V!


mechanization and chemicalization of agriculture has ledapid Increase In the use of agricultural uvlutlon. und It Is likely to continue to Increase. The Soviets arc experimenting with new developments in spray nozzles, polymer .thickening agents, and "superlow-volumc spraying" In an effort to Improve plant coverage and minimize drift. Apparently little can be done to solve the drift problem other than not spraying except under Ideal weather

| Aisair pollution has received llltle attention In the Soviet press because agricultural practices contribute relatively little toward lowering the quality of the air. This Is not to say that It Is on Insignificant form of pollution, but only that It Is small In comparison with water and soil problems. Moreover, Itroblem primarily affecting agricultural worken and their families.11

! Pesticides, directly or Indirectly, are the main source of air pollution In agriculture. When vast aeas of crops are chemically treated, air pollution Is unavoidable; the danger to plants, animals, and man Is well documented. In the southern cotton-growing regions of the USSR. It hoi been determined that the air Is polluted by phosphorganlc and chlororganlcmercaptophos, phosphamldon, DDT, and others. Moreover, evidence Is accumulating that particles of toxic agricultural chemicals are commonly found tn the atmosphere and are carried throughout the world by air0 Soviet study of chemical pollutants In the air and their effect on embryogenesls showed that the Intensive use of chemicals for crop protection has Increased the risk of harmful effects to people living In the Immediate vicinity of treatedelationship was established between the degree of atmospheric pollution by organophosphorus pesticides and the number of abnormal prcgnancles-M

i Dust Is one of the principal unfavorable facton In mechanized agricultural production, and that dust contains pesticide residues. The Soviets report that during the harvesting of sugar beets the penlstent chemical hexachloran, which was used against Insect pests of sugar beets as much as five months before harvest, may be found In air samplesuantity1osebleeds of agricultural worken have been observed that are associated with the presence of hexnchloran In the duit. The effect of the dust on the eyes can'result In conjunctivitis, ond edema of the eyelids may occur when mineral fertilizers arc present In the dust.eaction of the mrmbrnnes of the upper respiratory passages In the workers Is seen In tbe form of hypertrophic catarrh and


secretion of sputum which continues fot three to four duyi after Ihe harvest has ended."

In the arid Central Allan republics and In the semlurld iteppes of the USSR, pollu'.lon by natural, wind-eroded, chemical-containing duit Is as harmful us Industrial contamination If not worse. The dust can be contained only If the soil Is stabilized, and slublllzutlon may not be realized on matglnaljand that Is sown to crops every year.

Toxicity and Rs^uiMMwmesticides were approved for use by the SovietsG the figure was moren addition.esticides were being used experimentally. Chemical* ty. they may be grouped as follows:r-gunochlmlnes,rgunophorphorus compounds,ulphur compounds.ere of mineralarbamates.eie of vegetable origin, and the remaining were of other groups ox were biological products. All of these pesticides hove been divided Into four groups according to their degree of toxicityor humans and wmm-blooded unlmats

It enn be seen that of the various types of pesticides used by the Soviets, the Insecllcldes are the most toxic for wurm*blooded animals. The figures In the table ore not fully applicable to other groups of organbms. however. Including marine life. The lethal doses and concentration for many of these organbms must be iiscertulnrd Individually before It con be determined whutiven pesticide represents to the living nrgunbms of an ecosystem, particularly those that are useful to man. This Is one nf the main problems of chemical plant protection now being worked on by scientists In the USSR and other countries.

Jv.InHOkiil eHlnwte nl th* number of mjt otr kg of body weight required to kill SO percentrae population of tnt animal*.

In the efforts now being made by Soviet chembts and agriculturists to Increase the number of pesticides available to agriculture, theo reduce toxicity Indices for nonlarget organbms as much as possible. According to Soviet dataewer und fewer pesticidesigh toxicity foranimals are being recommended for use In Ihe USSR.

The danger of environmental pollutioniven pesticide cannot be measured by the LDso toxicity Index alone. Other extremely Important factors are the chronic toxicityhemical compound; and the value of the "accumulationhe extent to which prolonged exposure to small concentrations of the pesticide affrcti Ihe condition of organisms and, In particular, their reproductive capacity. Soviet scientists have done little work In thb area, and extensive research will be required to study the effects of all of the most widely used pesticides on all ofgunUms exposed.*"

The Soviets like to call attention to their Imposition of stringent requirements for the use of chemical peslicides In agriculture, their banning of some of the more persistent or highly toxic materials, and their Increasing emphasisearch for biological control methods that will eliminate or reduce the need for

Reduction in Toxicity of Soviet

Table I

Types and Toxicities of Approved Soviet2


f Compound*





i hi








0 0

hey have done all ot these, which Iscredit, but not to the extent that theirthe subject would lead us to believe. Theare relaxed when thereeed fotbut particularly effective chemical,chemicals such as DDT and In use. For example, the UShad been unacceptable to the Sovietsbecause of lb penlstence In thequestions concerning Its effects on'he Soviets are now negotiatinglant that willapacity of 5of treflan per year because they have aweed problem with soybeans andwas banned0 but was used3 andwhen sugareevil: infestationssevere. The users of DDT, however, hadone restriction, vixj all spraying wasoays, prior to harvest;f no consequence Insofar as protectionenvironment from this most persistent ofconcerned"

In general, most types of pesticides are widely used In the Soviet Union, and numerous environmental accidents due to pesticides have already occurred. Soviet scientists, however, are greatly concerned about the long-term effects of the continued use of these toxic chemicals and are actively searching for alternatives.ajor breakthrough in other methods of pest control, pesticides will continue to play the main rote In Soviet protection. As the Soviet population grows, agriculture will be Intensified and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land now unsuitable for farming will be cultivated. The area treated with toxic chemicals will Increase, and stress on the flora and fauna In all agricultural areas will Intensify. In the opinion of some of the most prominent scientbts In the world. Including an authoritative commission of the Soviet Academy of' Sciences, pesticides, willajor role for the nextoean in protecting crop plants from Insects, diseases, and weeds. The most environmentalists can hope for In thbhe development and Judicious use of less toxic, more selective, and rapidly biodegradable


The science of agronomy has established the fact that among the three decblve facton for raising cropbreeding, andaccounts for up toercent of an Increased yield. Thb fact has not been lost on the Soviets. In the lostean, Soviet agriculture has been suppliedharply Increasing amount of mineral fertilizer. The lotah. In million of tons, are4otal mineral fertilizer availability to ogricultitrcrojected6 million tons,cheduled toillion tonslso, with each year, the concentration of nutrienb infertilizer Increased fromercent5 toerevnt0 andercenthb ever Increasing tonnajje of chemical fertilizer spread on .Sovietn keeping with agricultural practices worldwide and'may be defended on the bosb of food needs. It Is,efinite hazard to the environment1*

| Agricultural plant nutrients that ore washed'Into waterways stimulate the growth of aquatic vegetation. Thb causes an overgrowth resulting In the obstruction of canals, riven, and reservoirs. Even an Insignificant amount of phosphorus in runoffufficient to create favorable conditions for the development of microflora that are capable of disrupting tbe oxygen regimeody of water. One pound of phosphates canounds of algae provided other nutrients also are present. The actual amounts of nutrients lost depend primarily on the type and mechanical composition of the soil, the amount and character of precipitation, the type of plants cultivated, the use ofand the type, amount, and method of application of fertilizer.10

j RuNorr--The pollution of waterways by chemical fertilizersesult of runoff from agricultural lands has attracted considerable attention In the USSR. Unfortunately, the problem of runoff has not been treated sufficiently lu Soviet scientific and technical literature. According to data from Leningrad State :Unlverslty, no washing out of nitrogenhosphorusr potassium (KJ from several types of fertilized soils has been noted In the USSR, The AH-Union Institute ofn agreementnd K. and believes that the washing outnto drainage waters does not exceed onehilegreed that nutrient runoff from agriculturalrobably notlgnlflcant problem In the USSR overall, It almott certainly contributes more to the pollution of some Soviet waterways than such data Indicate, In the flnt place, agricultural drainageertain amount of nutrients even where fertilizer Is not used. Secondly, the Soviets arrive at their conclusions largely on the bosb of theoretical data concerning agronomic chemLtry and some experimental data on drainage' water analysb. Thirdly, and perhaps most Important,esult of

shortages of fertilizer In ihe USSR, application rale* of fertilizer fluctuate, depending on the priority of thr ctop and available moisture. Fo* example, highest application rates occur In the Irrigated area* of Uzbek, Tadxhlk. and Turkmen where cotton, which receive* top priority. Is the major crop. The neit largest application rates occur In the BalticEstonia. Latvia, andIn Bclorussia. followed by the Ukraine and Moldavia, for sugar beets, corn, and small grain* In that order. Lowest application rales are noted for Kazakhs'-in, which Is to be expectedrain-growing area with low pi-Hpltatloru Only Inhe Soviet conclusionashout believable. Cotton and sugar beets are believed to receive fertilizer at rates

lufflcienlly high to produce significant N, P.ollution of drainage water. The true figureoss

b probably bet'veen the Soviet figureercent and Dr. Barry Commoners estimate thatercent of all

s lost to surface waters In

Nonetheless, If Inorganicotignificant source of water pollution In the USSR, It almost certainly will become so in Ihe near future as nutrient levels ol Soviet fertilizer and application rate* continue to rise Ironically, while UScall for the use ofrganic wastes on farms and less chemical fertilizer, the Soviets are making every effort to bring their use of N, P.p to the "problem pollutant" leveb found In the United States. Soviet concern for future water pollution from fertilizer* was brought outelegation of Soviet water pollution specialists thatS laboratory In" The Sovleb are particularly concerned about eutrophlcatlon of river* and are studying the relationship of agricultural chemicals to thb problem. Concern for the futureeen In the planned research of the Siberian Division. Institute of Chemistry. Academy of Sciences. USSR. Deiptte the fact that very littleeing used now in Siberia, the research program of thb Institute Includes studies toow crop yield* can be maximized with minimumow toithout Increasing pollution,hether some crop varieties can make better usehanhuseduction In Ihe rate of oppllcatlon

CaoVNDWATUtreporting has been seen on possible nitrate contamination of well water fromn the Soviet Union.nown toroblem In other part* of the world, however, andthe subjectecent conference In Europe. Itairly safe assumption that groundwater also U

known In certain rural areas of the USSRertilizer applications ha"e been the rganochlorine Insecticides have been detected In Soviet ground water In Isolated Instances, andelieved that nitrate* also areitrate appears to be relet!iely Innocuous In the human body, but it can be converted to poisonous nitrite by the action of certain Intestinal bacteria that are oftenctive In Infants thannfant poisoningxcessive nitrate (methemoglobinemia) In drinking water has been reported In France,zechoslovakia, and Israel. In the Unitedertilizer drainage has raised the nitrate levelrinking water In some farming areas above thepm) recommended by publicuthorities.w


Water projects unprecedented in scale anywherehe wodd are being carried out In the Soviet Union. In the past decade, the area of newly reclaimed lands was doubled and now exceedsillion hectares. These areas, which occupyercent of the croplands and orchards, accountuarter of the country's crop production. Land reclamation Is an Important focus of Soviet agricultural Investment. Approximately USS8ear Is being expended for water and land resource development projects. Moreillion hectares of newly Irrigated land was put Into usebout half of which was Improved pasture. Also, an area only slightly less In size was drained, and water for livestock was provided on aboutillion hectares.S, plans called for another million hectares to be Irrigated and more thana million hectares to be drained. If these goalsotalillion hectares was Irrigated,illion drained during the Ninth. The long term plan for land reclamation for theo bringountry's total reclaimed area up toectares. Much of thtiaking placehe non-Chernozem Zone of the

i In addition to Its many positive results,ne of the most effectivencroaching upon nature. It lead* to unfavorable changes In bodies of water, toll processes, andnd fauna In surrounding areas. Agriculturaltrlent* conducive tostreams, lakes, and reservoirs. Small rivers and streams may disappear, or become parts of canals, and thus upset the ecological balances, 'n the development of irrigation In the Soviet Union.


of ihe principal problem) are unfavorable consequences |i> the riven und hikes from which Ihe wuter was token, losses and waite of (he diverted wuter. and the sallnlzatlon of tolls, The latter, together with raited ground water levels, causes an average ofectares of Irrigated land to be token out of cultivation each year In the


Water ;

Agriculture Is the largest consumer of water In the USSR primarily due to the Irrigation of croplands. About three times as much water Is used In agriculture as Is used inhis amounts tom* at present, mid consumptionxpected to almost double In the nextoears. Plans call for the urea of Irrigated land In the USSR to reachillion hectares'**

ariety of reasons, water In the USSR has been treated as free and consumed without regard for future consequences. The Soviets, until recently at least, have not cared how much water they used for irrigation. Consequently, the conservation of Irrigation water-once It has been diverted fromajor problem for the Soviets. Only aboutercent of the water diverted for Irrigation reaches the fields, and as little as one-fifth of all Soviet Irrigation water actually Is used by crops. The main causes of water loss are seepage from Irrigation canals; evaporation fromqueducts, reservoirs, and fields; and the growth of water-consuming plants which grow along the waterways. Seepage Is perhaps' the greatest source of loss. The Kara Kum Canal In the Turkmen Republic, one of the largest Irrigation diversion schemes In the country.ase In point. Water loss from this canal almost equals the annual discharge of the Murgab and Tedxhen Rivers. This lost waterhole series of lakes and seepages along the canal that are overgrown with reeds known for their tremendous and useless evaporating capacity. The seepage from Irrlf atlon canals and over enthusiastic use of water for irrigation also hasise In the water table in many areas. This has facilitated sallnlzatlon of the soil, especially In dry areas of the

The Soviets recognize that It Is essential to Increase considerably the proportion of enclosed drainage system construction. The technical, economic, and environmental advantages arearticular feature of Soviet land reclamation Ins that It will golans call for three-fourths of the Irrigation and collection-drainage network ond the entire drainage system, except water Intakeo be converted to closedlosed-pipe system eliminates soil tosses, create* bettei conditions for the mechanization of field work,'and sharply reduces losses of. water In the Irrigation process.*1

j i'

The water for Soviet Irrigation Is diverted primarily from the surface flow; underground waters account for onlyercent. The Soviets are now seriously concernedefinite decrease In the basic source of water. Some Soviet* believe the Don River is going (dry. One reason is that riven mch a* themall tributary of the Voronezh River which empties Into the Don. have all but disappeared because of Improper soli conservation, poorly planned timber removal, and indiscriminate swamp drainage. Also, the levels of the Aral and Caspian Seas have been lowered considerably. The Aral Sea has dropped byeten In the pastears and has been predicted to drop another meteroth the Casplon and Aral Seas are In arid regions, and large quantities of their waters have been diverted for crop"

Anothe' major problem facing the Soviets Is the availability of water In the major agricultural areas of Soviet Central Asia, North Caucasus, and Transcauca-sus. Land Is still available In these areas, but the rivers are Just about committed both In terms of environment and total water available. Thus, the Soviets will have to bring water In from northern rivers by transploce and diversion. These riven flow to the north as does the entire land form, which greatly complicates the task of bringing water south. The envlronmentol disruption fromassive undertaking will be enormous.**

Soil Sallnlzatlon

One of the unfortunate economic consequences of man's Influence on naturalallnlzatlon of soils In the regions of Irrigated farming. Irrigation Inevitably leadsuild up of salt* In the soil that mjsi be removed to maintain sol! fertility. In the USSR, soil salinityarticular problem In southern areas where naturaloor, rainfall is low. and evaporation Is high."

In Turkmen SSR. for example, the Kara Kum Canal brought about the development of moreectares of Irrigated cotton plantings alone on virgin land. The amount of Irrigated land Increasedectares5ectareshe Increased water Intakeold) and


drainageou rise In the ground water level and an Increase In the area of sallned and swampy soils.esult. Inens of thousands of hectares of Irrigated land had to he taken out of production- It was necessary torainage network of0 kilometers that removed harmful ground water Torn the Irrigated areas.illion cubic meters of mineralized water were drained off "beyond the borders of the Irrigatedbillion cubic meters more thanore thanillion tons of harmful salts were removed from the fields, ihree times as much asnd the official call Is for stepping up the rates of leaching of the land, Sallnlzatlon In the Turkmen region has resulted In the accumulation of tremendous supplies of salts on the surface and In the profiles of Ihe soil, and It Is becoming more Intense each year. According to Soviet computations, the potential supplies of these salts In the uppermeter layer amount0 tons/hectare; the majorn the S>eter layer, Yields of most crops are not adversely affected by salt content In the soil solution up tom/l. For greater salt content, however, yields decrease continuously, and crop production seldom has been successful when the only source of Irrigation waters contained moraf salt."


Inroject was begun2 to flush chemical salts as high asrom the rich loess soils. Toectares have been reclaimed. The Soviets plan tootalillion hectaresost of USSS0 billion. In thb particular project, the salt water resulting from leaching thearried offrainage network to an old lake bed. If the drainageeturned to natural waterways, the usual method of disposal. It becomesserious pollutant Pollution In the Caspianartly the result of high salt content, which affects the production of caviar and the fbh Industry In general.*1

The usual approach to controllingo use waterow sail content and to flush accumulations of salt Into the ground water, which Ideally should be ateters below the soil surface, The concentration of salt In Irrigation water typically Increases greatly as It flows downstream through Ihe Irrigation system, asvaporated or transpired. There are no known Soviet studies on this subject, but US studies on the effects of Irrigation on salt In streams show how the concentration of salts Increases In watersiver. One such study- fold increase in concentration of sail In water In the stream channelile area. The transition

, wasully satisfactory rating for agricultural use tn one totally

As the water becomes more salty, more water must be used to flush salts Into the subsoil. Attemptsconomize water under such conditions, as by wetting only theeters of soil, Inevitably leadncreased salt concentrations, "Success" Inalts Into the groundwater also has Its price. It Is possible for nitrates to build up In the groundwateruch an eztent that theoxic to manivestock The application of Inorganicggravates the situation even further, aslsewhere In thb report.


j Protection of the soli from erosionitally Important role In maintaining the effectivenessgriculture worldwide, butarticular problemhe Soviet Union Because of Soviet neglectismanagement of the land In the past, erosionoth wind andn Immediate threat toreas of croplands In the USSR and is probably the most urgent conservation problem facing Soviet planners.

illion hectares of land are usedgricultural purposes In the USSR at present, exclusive of desert pastures. About two-thirds of theands He In areas particularly susceptible to erosion. Anillion hectares of sown land are damaged by wind erosion alone every yearough averageillion hectares of cropland are mined annually. Furthermore,osses occur on the best agricultural soils of the ichestnut browns, andrown

Waterarticularly Intensive problem Iii the North Caucasus, the Transcaucasiannd Central Asia, causes arable fields and pasturese less productive. In old descriptions, areas alongon River were "levelecent studiesillion hectares of soil In these areasillion hectares unsuitable for use because of gullies and

Every yearillion tons of black earthown the Don. In some regions soli loss has reachedoercent.0 It was reported that theands In the Georgian flepuMlc had decreased by

ectaies In the pasteanesult of water

Georgia Is the only majorgricultural area In the USSR, and thusarticular Importance to the Soviet* KM

wuter erosion acts slowlyecrease (he amount of uruble land, wind erosionore Immediate threat. Certain portions of the agricultural lunds of Western Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan, an urcu that was developed In the virgin lands program of, uverage more thanays of dust storms per year. During one uf these storms as much as IS tons per hectare per hour of sandy loam topsoll maybe blown away. As with water erosion, dust storms are the product of natural conditions ihat often are worsened by agriculturalctcrun SovietYurly Chrrnlchenko, argues that neglect of antlennlnnthose In connection with cleanthe virgin lands was the key to crop failures. He further states that the same processes that led to disastrous wind erosion and declining crop yields In the virgin lands are being repealed In the black earth zone ot European RSFSR.esult of pressure Imposed by Party officials, clean fallow In the RSFSR wus reducedillion hectares tn the last four

The drier steppe regions of the Ukraine and the North Caucasus ulso are very prone to dust storms,torm damaged moreillion hectures of crops, ofectares were destroyed completely. Crops either were blown away, left to die with roots exposed, oi covered by the drifting soli. Dust reached depthseet at some points, and fallout was evident us far away as Warsaw, Budapest, und Belgrade. Other less severe storms In this area were reported0 the storms have occurred almost every year. The annual low of topsoll con reach astronomic figures. In such erosion-proneoss ofons of soil per year from each hectare of plowed landonservative estimate. At that rate It takes onlyears toinimumnches of productive topsoll and less thanears to lose the whole fertile top layer, In reullty. It Is likely that the loss Is much more rapid. Soviet authorities eslimate that erosion costs the USSR In excess ofillionear for losses In land, crops, livestock, and for damages caused by sedimentation and pollution In reservoirs and waterways. The latter largely occurs through drainage, hut one of the wont cases of agriculture-related pollutionody of water In the USSR occurred when dust storms blew fertilizer mixed with topsoll off of land tn the Krasnodar Kray Into the Sea of


The toss of nutrients by .wind and water erosion Is very difficult to measure and no work Is known to have been done In ihe USSR on this subject. Most streams.

soli material especially after hravy winter rains.rominent Soviet soil scientist recently stated: "If radical meoiures ure not taken in lhc near future to regulate the run-otf of thaw and torrential waten over large areas, the problem of protecting water resources from pollutants from the fields and farms will be more complicated lhan the problem of Industrialhe run-off water carries away more N. P.han Soviet Industry produces. Inremendous quantity of other elements of plant*

The seriousness with which the Soviets view the erosion problem Is seen In urgent calb from the Party and the highest level of government7 and again1 for the Implementation of anticroslon measures. Il was officially stated then that "the struggle against wind and waterne of the most Important Staleet today, eight yean later, relatively little has been accomplbhed. The Soviet approach to combating soil erosion continues to be based on directives from Moscow ralher thanloser relationship with scientific organizations at the local level" u

Among anticroslon measures, protective forestntion Is extremely Important.0 the Soviet Government drew up an ambitious "shelterbelt" plan for refo.Tstallon to stabilize Ihe soil and temper the wind. Neither thb planubsequent plan onnounced7 has been Implemented with any success. Because of Soviet preoccupation with large-scale mechanized larmlng. the more labor-intensive contour stripeffective control for waterdlsmlsied by Soviet experts as not applicable. Special plows and machinery that proved to be greatly effective In controlling erosion are produced In Insignificant quantities. Questions of land reclamation are worked out mainly from engineering and technical positions, without Integrated validation by life sctentbts. Even basic agricultural practices such as crop rotations for field protection are being conducted poorly and Insufficiently. The battle against soli erosion In theot being conductedanner commensurate wilh Its Importance to the notion."

] Directives ofh Party Congress setumber of antleroslon objectives, Including the plantingectares of windbreaks, and itepped-up production of special agricultural machines and equipment used In erosion-control work. It remains lo be seen If these ptans will be Implemented any more successfully than those in

erosion In Ihe USSR eniurei lhat It willblem Indefinitely."


The wastes of farm anlmaboncern In the reduction of water, air, and toll pollution. Animal wastes are associated with eutrophlcatlon of waterways, fish kills, nitrate contamination of soils and aquifers, off flavors, annoying odors and dusts, dissemination of agents Infectious to animals and man, and reproduction of Insect pests. The United States and the USSR are tho nations most Involved In the problem because of the size of livestock production and the feeding systems. The Soviets estimate thatear's time upillion tons of manure are accumulated on livestock farms and feedIn thehe dally discharge of effluents In large Soviet livestock complexes Is as highubic meters, Soviet scientists have established, for example, that for every liter ofow excretesg of manure; In the fattening up process, cattle4 kg of manure per kg of weight

The animal waste disposal problem In the USSR has grown phenomenally In ihe past decade as their numbers of livestock greatly Increased.44 the number of cattle increased8 millionercent) sheep and goats6nd poultryillion, orhreefoldut the problem Is more than numbers. Because of the climatic conditions and location of feed supplies, most Soviet livestock are concentrated In western USSR. The problem Is further compounded by the trend In modern animal husbandry to concentrate livestock In Industrial units or complexes, which are being constructed near large populationn accordance with the1 decree of the USSR Council of Ministers entitled, "Developing the Production of Livestock Products on an Induitrial2 State pig farming complexes were built throughout the country duringeriod. At least four of these complexes eachapability forigs.2 the Soviets contractedS firm, Ceresfor the construction of three cattlehrad facility near Krasnodar,head facilities near Tbilisi and Volgodonsk. The latter went

tuitrf Is believed lo he highlyhr US and UJsSn have almost equal number, of live-lock, part leu la Hy rattlf andand lb* amount of solid manure from USitlrnatedillion IonslitWi torn ol mlied liquid aod teJtd waVe. Animalin mcK quantitiesequivalent Io lhat produced) blttlnnr rouihlv hall the popiilatton oi thei Into full operationhe USSR plans lof these feedlots" The Soviets claim that at the present time more lhanead of cattle.illion hogs,illionf poultry are being maintained on farms which arecompletely mechanized. While this ensuresproduction of meat, milk, andajor drawback Is the necessity for collecting, treating, and utilizing huge amounts of animal

In general, most environmental problems associated with animal wastes arise on confinement farmshich the numbers of livestock are so great thatanure Is generated than can be spread on crops and pastureland In the area. The problems are greater '. when the farmsanure surplus are locatedensitive"ensely populated areas, recreational arras, and areas from which drinking water supplies are drawn. The arable lands In "he vicinity of Moscow and Leningrad, for example, receiveoons of organic wastes per hectare, while farmland In oblasts such as Orel. Pskov,strakhan receiveons oriver water that Is polluted with large quantities of runoffanured land, feedlots, swine houses, and the tike is characterizedow or zero dlssotved oxygen contentighontent thatetrimental to fish.ewage from theower" State pig-breeding farm near Moscowens of thousands of fish alongtretch ofrotva* Theontent of the direct runoff from livestock complexes Is sohat It can cause ammonia poisoning of crops unless diluted before application to farmland of crops. An acre-foot of runoffarge cattleayogs ofogs of nitrate-nitrogen, and aboutgs of P. These amounts are up toimes theimes the nitrate, andimesontent of runoff from fallov. land.**

j The Soviels have begun to realize the seriousnessnlmat waste management now that their progrom

for modernization of agriculture Is in full swing.S Waste Management Tram, part of thecience and trchnology exchange,isit toSSR5 was briefed on the pressing problemsaste management in the USSR. The Soviets are

concentrating their attentionollutionisinfection andlon of manure,reatment of waste watershey eon drain Into natural waterways. The US and

Soviet representatives exchanged proposals outliningspeclfle,areas for cooperation foreriod.


commono develop management practices IYm mote efficient waste utlllullon whilelean aid safe environment."

Soviet sclentliti are stressing two approarhes to the use of animal waste (t) utilization as fertilizer,ecycling as feed additive. Thirty-two specialized organizations have been set up to engage In this work. Treatment designs generally Include liquid-solid separation, biological treatment of th* effluent, and use of the solids for fertilizer, and the treated effluent for Irrigation. Uquid*iolld separation is usually accomplished by using vibratingr an auger press. In some designs, both are used In series to lower the water content of tht solids. Centrifuge and electrocoagulation methods also are being evaluated. Liquid treatment often Involves aeration of the secondary effluent. Facilities are similar to ihose commonly used for treatment of municipal and industrial sewage. When the US team questioned the necessity for such thorough treatment, especially since the final use is for land application, the Soviets pointed out ihe severe environmental restrictions that they must work under. They stated that alt Industrial complexes. Including livestock, must have treatment facilities. Furthermore, If effluent Is returned to streams, the chemical oxygen demandust be leu thanhere Is considerable concern, too, on the part of the Soviets about worm eggshich could not be Identified by US scientists. Some Soviet scientists Indicated that control of worm eggsigher priority then COD

The Soviets are Interested In recycling wastes for feed purposesanure recycling process developed by Ceres International. The process can produce silage, pellet feed for range cattle,rotein supplementeres official estimates that If the manure produced annually by onlyalf of Soviet cattle were processed by the Ceres method, the protein produced would be equal to that of the annual US soybean crop. The Soviets art also Investigating some types of direct refeedlng. but this Is not looked on with favor by most Soviet agricultural scie Mists."


It is easy lo get the lmpc**lon from Soviet reporting that the USSRodel nation In preventing,

"CODmetiure of the oiyien rfqulrtd toodn Indication of the load bring,OD lo runotTo more or eliminating environmental disruption, Theylethora of stringent antipollutionreat many government organizations In scve.nt ministries Involved In the administration of these laws, and many environment-minded citizens. Bul the acid test of any legislation Is its effectiveness, and ihe Soviet record of failure to control pollution Is simitar to that found In advanced Western countries.*3

In most Instances, Soviet pollution control standards are much more stringent than US standards. Their health standards, for example, for maximum allowable exposure to environmental pofcons are one-fifth lo one-tenth those of tht US. The Soviets cannot enforce such strict standards, however, and they are making little effort to do so. In the area of land Improvement, neither the machine operaton, the agronomists, nor the farm managen bearfor protecting the land and Its fertility. Notokennown to have been levied against anyone for neglect of the land resulting tn soli erosion. The strict guidelines for using pesticides are not always followed, Overuse and misuse of chemicals appear to be as common In the USSR as they are In the US, The Soviets apparently do not possess the equipment or technology to achieve their standards. Visiting US sclentlitiotal lack of sophisticated monitoring and test equipment, particularly for monitoring water pollution. Moreover, pollution research Is being conducted by small and scattered groups who have Inadequate experimental facilities.

The Sovleh art believed to be very serious with regard to controlling pollution. Environmental exchange agreements have been reached with the US Involving visiting US scientists la such areas as Integrated pest management, animal wastes, and wind erosion. Also, the wealth of govern ment*sanctloned literature confirms ihatn Increasing awareness In the USSR of iht problem of agricultrelated pollution. The Soviets, however,inding It very difficult to give priority attent'ongriculture-related problems of the environment considering tbeb agricultural production problems.'0

Theoviet organizations Involved In protecting the environment are largely uncoordinated advisory bodies. To monitor and control their efforts, the Sovteb recentlyew organization under the administration of the Hydrometeorologlcal Servicehe agency primarily responsible for coordinating the US*USSR environmental exchange agreement. Although the new move Is further evidence of high-level concern. It falls to ensure effective controls as Hydromet was not granted

any regulatoryhu* the Soviet Covemnun' continue* to cnltust pollution control to the Induitrial und agricultural mlnlstiles that are the major pollutors. Unless substantial penaltiesnforced, the Soviet environment will continue lo

it s3

sufrt"agrlcuiture-related pollulr.nts as those charged with agricultural production slrlve to meet or

urpass harvest gaols.

This report was prepared by the Office of Scientific Intelltg


The sourer references supporting this potter are identifiedis/ puldishcdCopies of the list ore available to authorized ttentninel and may be olitalned from the orltilnaUnghrough regular channels. Requests for the list of reference* should Include ihe pulJlcallon mmuVr and dale of this re-sort.


Original document.

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