Glossary

Biological yield—provisional estimate of yield based on field studies of crops in spring or early summer.

Centner—unit of weight equaling 100 kilograms, widely used in Russian agricultural statistics.

Consumption regions—central and northern regions of Russia which are not self-sufficient in food production and have to import considerable amounts of grain (for human and animal consumption) and other produce from southern regions of the country.

Economic regions—the main administrative units of Russia are oblasts and republics. However, for economic (for example, for the presentation of statistical data) purposes the country was generally divided into larger units, so-called economic regions. Nowadays the RSFSR is divided into 11 large economic regions (see also endnote 2 to Chapter 1).

Feed unit—for the evaluation of fodder availability, the total amount of a particular animal feed is recalculated in units equivalent to one kilogram of oats in terms of calorific value. For example, for pasture grass the coefficient is 0.14. This means that the calorific value of one kilogram of grass equals only 0.14 kilograms of oats.

Gosplan—abbreviation for the State (Gosudarstvennyi) Planning (Pla-nirovaniya) Commission, the center of planing, coordination, and everyday management of the all-union ministries in the USSR.

Grain delivery, grain collection—amount of grain harvest sold (or delivered as levy) to the state.

Kolkhoz—abbreviation for collective (kollektivnoe) farm (khozyastvo), the main agricultural unit in the Soviet Union. These combined several peasant families from one or several compactly located villages. In contrast to sovkhozes, kolkhozes were designed as self-contained organizations in terms of financial resources.

Kulak—in the 1920s and 1930s, the name for a rich peasant, that is, one who possessed a larger than average plot or large numbers of livestock.

Marketability—productivity (efficiency) of a farm measured by the share of harvest produced for selling on the market.

MGLA—haze or strong dust storm.

MTS—abbreviation for Machine Tractor Station (see endnote 1 to Chapter 5).

Oblasts—the major administrative unit of the Russian Federation. There are 89 oblasts and national republics in modern Russia, each of them combining several dozens of smaller units, or raions (districts).

Productive regions—the main agricultural regions of Russia located in steppe and wooded steppe zones and supplying grain and other agricultural products to mainly industrialized and urbanized central and northern regions of Russia. The latter are named consumption regions. This division was established in the late nineteenth century for statistical and administrative purpose and is still in use today.

Pud—traditional Russian unit of weight equaling 16.5 kilograms.

RSFSR—abbreviation for the Russian Soviet Federative Socialistic Republic, the largest republic in the USSR.

Samizdat—informal dissident source of information. Literally self (sam) publishing (izdavat*).

Sovkhoz—abbreviation for soviet (Sovetskoe) farm (khozyastvo), a large agricultural unit in the Soviet Union, constructed on the pattern of a state industrial enterprise. Peasants working in sovkhozes were employed (from different regions) by the state and received fixed salaries.

Standard unit—used for comparison in livestock statistics to measure the overall size of the livestock inventory in terms of cattle equivalents, suggesting, for example, that a pig equals 0.6 of the weight of cattle.

Sukhovei—literally dry (sukhoe) breath (veyanie). These are dry winds that cause crop problems. Often these winds have a high velocity as they originate on the periphery of anticyclones.

TsSk—abbreviation for the Central (Tsentral'ny) Statistical (Statistich-esky) Committee (Komitet), the main statistical body, first set up in the late nineteenth century in the Russian Empire. Later this committee was repeatedly renamed and the current successor is known as the Goskomstat, or the State Committee on Statistics (Gosydarst-venny Komitet po Statistike).

Zemstvo—in the Russian Empire these were units of local government, elected on a restricted franchise. They were established as part of the political and economic reforms aimed at the abolition of peasant serfdom in 1861. The target of the establishment of the zemstva was to develop regional administrative independence.

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