Major developments in agriculture

During World War II, Soviet agriculture experienced a severe decline. In the autumn of 1941, as the Germans invaded the south and west of the country, two-fifths of the whole Soviet wheat harvest and two-thirds of the potato crop area was lost. In 1942, the total amount of agricultural production under Soviet control had fallen by one-third. Because of the loss of the Ukraine and part of the Volga region, the cultivation of field crops shifted onto the inferior soils of the northern and eastern regions, although agriculture here was also subject to decline. The 1943 growing season was relatively unfavorable in terms of climate, and in spite of an increase in the sowing area, yields declined further (Harrison, 1994). In 1944, Soviet agriculture recorded the lowest figures in all agricultural production sectors since the beginning of the war. During the war, livestock numbers experienced a dramatic decline. The number of horses dropped by 50 percent, that of pigs by 65 percent, and that of horned

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