Moreover, corn was sown even in those regions that did not fit this agricultural crop due to its natural and climatic conditions. So, there are even jokes on this subject: “Well, Koryak brothers, we sow corn?” “We sow,” answered the Koryaks, putting on fur coats. About crop failure Khrushchev did not want to hear. Those managers who could not ensure the corn harvest were removed from their posts. Therefore, many executives, in order to maintain their posts, wrote about high yields, went for fraud, registry.
The development of virgin and fallow lands should, according to Khrushchev and his supporters, solve the problem of grain. Since these places were scarcely populated, the new state farms could not plan here multilateral agriculture, but only a monoculture of wheat with a high level of mechanization of all the work and the transfer of people from traditional agricultural areas and years for temporary seasonal work. For the future, of course, the task was to fully develop and settle these lands, but this could take many years. And the country needed to dramatically increase the production of not only grain, but animal products. But the main obstacle to the development of livestock was due to the lack of feed quantities. Khrushchev and his advisers on agriculture (A. Shevchenko played the main role among them, his assistant in agriculture since the times of Khrushchev’s secretary of the Central Committee of Ukraine) knew very well that corn was the main fodder crop in the US Production was associated in the United States with the rapid development of animal husbandry. Thus, until the second half of 1950, corn in the structure of grain crops of the USSR barely reached 15%, and, for example, in North America it was more than 35%, in Australia and South America - over 30%. Such a structure was dictated by the traditions of farming and geographical, climatic conditions.
It should be said that Khrushchev in this regard was a typical Westerner, that is, he saw something good in the West and immediately wanted to instill it on Russian soil, disregarding the natural climatic conditions, traditions and experience. In this respect, the Russian liberals 1990-2000-ies and the Trotskyists-Khrushchev-Gorbachev-is one of the fields of berries (poisonous).
Already in 1955, the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced the post of "agricultural attache" at most of the USSR embassies, and along this line a lot of information and proposals for reforms accumulated in the CPSU Central Committee and agricultural ministries. In addition, numerous agricultural delegations and excursions headed by ministers of agriculture and their deputies were sent to the USA and other countries.
Even at the plenum in September 1953, Khrushchev proposed to significantly increase the area of corn sowing for grain in Ukraine and in the south of the USSR, and in other areas for silage. However, despite intensive propaganda, corn crops in the USSR in 1954 year grew by only 800 thousand hectares, reaching an area of 4 million 300 thousand hectares. In collective and state farms, where corn was not previously cultivated, it was treated with caution and sown only experimental plots. Such an approach was quite reasonable and justified, since there was no mechanization for the cultivation of corn, and its cultivation required a great deal of manual labor. This irritated Khrushchev. Under its pressure, the Central Committee of the CPSU issued a directive to expand corn crops in almost all agricultural areas almost several times. Although the conditions for such a program were absent: there was not enough silage structures, machinery, fertilizers, good seed material, people, and just experience.
However, this did not stop Khrushchev and his supporters. Violating the newly adopted work planning procedure, which allowed collective farms to decide on the distribution of crops on their own, taking into account local conditions and opportunities, collective farms of state farms were given very high targets for corn crops in 1955 year from district committees and district executive committees. At many meetings and conferences in the spring of 1955, Khrushchev reminded us of the experience of the 18th century in forcing the introduction of potatoes. As a result, corn crops increased spirally in 1955, reaching about 18 million hectares. Far from all, the experience of growing corn in 1955 was successful, but a relatively hot year (with drought in the south and east) was favorable for this crop. In the south, a substantial amount of not only silage was harvested, but also grains; successes in growing green mass for silage were also observed in some collective and state farms in the middle nonchernozem belt and in the Baltic States. This allowed Khrushchev to continue the "corn" offensive. At 1956, a further increase in acreage was planned. The summer of 1956 was dry in the European part of Russia, therefore the year was not unfavorable for corn.
On this wave of the first apparent success, which was viewed as a serious victory for the agriculture of the USSR, the campaign was continued and expanded. Everywhere they planned the construction of new silage structures, the development of feeding livestock with corn silage, special machines were created for the mechanization of work, production of clean lines of corn was established. In Ukraine, a special Corn Research Institute was established, the Pavilion “Corn” was allocated at the Agricultural inset in Moscow. The USSR Ministry of Agriculture began publishing a special journal with the same name. The food industry has expanded the range of products and canned corn. In Moscow, they even opened a special large store "Corn". As a result, corn, like virgin lands, has become a symbol of the upcoming rapid rise in livestock and agriculture in general.
22 May 1957 of the year in a speech at the zonal meeting of agricultural workers of the regions and autonomous republics of the USSR Khrushchev promised to catch up and overtake America for three years in the production of meat, milk and butter per capita. It was about competition in the production of meat and dairy products. Instead of the grassland system of crop rotation, which is traditional for almost the entire USSR (except Central Asia), it was recommended at the meeting to switch to fast, wide and widespread corn crops. Academician TD Lysenko spoke against this, but his arguments were called in the press "dogmatism, disbelief in the possibilities of Soviet agriculture and the relapse of thinking during the period of the personality cult of Stalin."
Catching up the US in the production of butter and milk was not too difficult. In the States, the consumption of butter and milk has been declining for many years, the Americans have increased the production and consumption of vegetable oil and margarine. Therefore, in 1957, oil production in the USSR and the USA was almost at the same level (at the same time, the production and consumption of butter and milk in the USA were lower in 2-3 than in European countries). But in the production of meat the USSR lagged far behind the USA. And Khrushchev's call to close the gap in 3-4 of the year was unrealistic to fulfill. In 1957, the USSR produced 7,5 million tons of meat or 36 kg per person. And the United States produced 16 million tons of meat this year, kg of 97 per person. Thus, the USSR had to increase meat production almost three times in three years. Khrushchev was hoping mainly for the growth of feed resources, especially maize. However, his task was from the realm of fantasy, not real life.
In 1957, the USSR did not yet have real conditions for the rapid development of animal husbandry. In 1953, the procurement and procurement prices for meat, milk and butter were significantly increased, but the production cost of these products was higher in all agricultural areas of the country. As for meat, the high cost of production was associated with poor mechanization of work, the lack of modern farms on collective and state farms, lack of fodder and other factors. For example, retail government prices for meat were still low, and collective farms did not have profits to expand reproduction of livestock. All problems were solved, but not by emergency methods. On livestock farms on collective farms, manual labor prevailed. Only 5% of the work was done using machines and mechanisms. It is clear that these problems could be solved. Livestock could be raised by systematic and long-term work, and not for 2-3 of the year.
Khrushchev himself allowed only a one-year delay: “There will be no tragedy if, for example, in 1960, we still cannot catch up with America in meat production. You can allow some kind of delay, it will be nice to solve this problem in 1961 year. However, in the 1961 year, we must, as they say, clean up the “remnants”, and the main work should be done in the 1960 year. Here we have the courage to gain strength and resolve this issue. ”
However, the increase in meat production, for objective reasons, in the second half of the 1957 year and in the 1958 year was very modest. Over the 1958 year, meat production in the country grew by only 300 thousand tons, that is, less than 5%. This caused extreme irritation of Khrushchev. He counted on 60-70%. All regional committees were required to take drastic measures in order to sharply increase meat production in 1959.
This led to disaster. The first secretary of the Ryazan regional committee A.N. Larionov at the end of 1958 at the regional party conference promised to increase meat production by 2,5 times during the year, and by harvesting meat - by 2 times. The idea was supported by some other areas. According to unofficial data, Larionov even promised the post of chairman of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR. The region was awarded the Order of Lenin. Larionov gathered the foremost agricultural workers and set an even more difficult task - to increase the production of meat on collective farms 5 times (!) In one year, almost to 4 times in state farms and exceed the sales plan and state meat deliveries to 3 times! Ryazan Oblast, which sold 1958 thousand tons of meat to the state in 48, promised to sell 1959 thousand tons of meat in 150 in the year. The editorial board of the newspaper Pravda did not even want to publish these new increased obligations of the region, and the agricultural department of the Central Committee, which considered them too high and unreal, opposed this. But on the personal order of Khrushchev, these commitments were published in Pravda on January 9 1959. In this regard, Khrushchev began to put pressure on other areas, so that they increased their obligations. Thus, the Stavropol Territory made commitments to increase meat production 1959 2,5 times, the Krasnodar Territory did the same. The Moscow Region has promised to increase production by 2 times, as well as the Belarusian SSR, etc.
It is impossible to increase so much a large number of farms, livestock of livestock for a year and fatten up livestock to increase weight gain. However, Moscow’s heightened attention and excessive advertising in the press made retreat impossible. And in order to fulfill the promise to increase meat production in the region 4-5 times, it was necessary to slaughter almost all cows and pigs from collective farm farms, which is a crime. In the Ryazan region, in order to fulfill this promise, they ordered not only the increase in the 1959 population of livestock, but also a significant part of dairy cows from the so-called. "Breeding stock". In addition, tens of thousands of cows and pigs were forcibly bought in the private farms of the peasants. However, this was not enough. I had to buy up livestock in neighboring areas right up to the Urals. The purchases had to spend funds that were allocated for construction, health care and education. But this was not enough. Neighbors also made increased commitments and were alarmed when they learned about the actions of the Ryazan "procurers". On the borders of the Ryazan region even began to put up police posts, which selected illegally purchased cattle.
A fivefold increase did not work. Then the Ryazan Regional Committee overlaid not only collective farms with meat taxes. State farms and private farms, but also obliged to produce meat to all institutions, including schools and police stations. All urgently began to breed rabbits. In factories, people often simply collected money, went to the store and bought meat (1,5-2 rubles for 1 kg), and then they were taken to procurement centers, where they took the 25-30 cop. per 1 kg. The same operations were carried out with oil. As a result, meat, butter and milk disappeared from the shops in the area. But the plan fulfilled. In December, the region reported 1959 that meat production was “increased” 4 times, and the state transferred 150 thousand tons of meat, three times more than in 1958 year. Larionov received a Hero of Socialist Labor. He was praised. Even the school textbooks urgently entered the "feat" of the Ryazan region.
The following year, the region pledged to raise the bar even more - to 180-200 thousand tons. However, the agriculture of the region, due to the extreme measures of 1959, was falling apart. Livestock numbers plummeted. Collective farmers and workers of state farms, who were given receipts instead of money, did not go to work, demanding either to give up livestock or pay full monetary compensation. Monetary funds of collective farms were exhausted. Many collective farms simply went bankrupt. The region could not give even half of the usual annual plan, that is, it passed about 30 thousand tons, 6 times less than promised. Other works failed. The grain production plan was executed only on 50%. When at the end of 1960 a special commission of the Central Committee of the Party arrived in the region to check the state of affairs, she confirmed complete collapse of the agricultural area. Larionov committed suicide.
Thus, the policy of Khrushchev in the field of meat production has caused great damage to the country. Not only Ryazan, but also other areas suffered. Total meat production in 1960 compared to 1959 in 200 thousand tons. In 1961, it remained at the level of 1959. Only in 1962 was there a slight increase. Ryazan experiment, repeated in 1959-1960. and in other areas of the country, had negative consequences. In 1964, 8,3 million tons were produced, that is, less than in 1959. Production of eggs and wool in 1964 was also lower than 1959. The gap in the amount of meat production per person between the United States and the USSR was even greater increased.
Nikita Khrushchev had a good personal relationship with John Kennedy
Already in 1957-1959. the area under corn was increased by about a third - due to the sowing of industrial crops and forage grasses. However, at that time, this undertaking covered only the North Caucasus, Ukraine and Moldova. The process has not reached the “northern seas” yet. I must say that a moderate expansion of corn crops would not bring harm. However, Khrushchev and here "bent the stick" to its fracture.
On a visit to the USA in September 1959, Khrushchev visited Iowa in the fields of the famous farmer Rokuela Garst. He grew hybrid corn, which gave a very high yield. Khrushchev was so blinded that he gathered a meeting at the USSR Embassy in Washington, where he criticized our diplomats and analysts for not paying attention to the “corn” experience of the Americans and ordered the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture to literally overwhelm American corn-growing materials. According to contemporaries, Khrushchev at the embassy, and on arrival in the USSR, was literally insane. He called for: “resolutely change local leaders who have dried up themselves and dried corn. Well, what did we do in agriculture after Stalin? Yes, virgin soil, but this is not enough. What are we worse than the Americans? Thanks to corn, they have no problems with livestock and grain farming. And what is our field or our climate worse? And yet they also write letters to me that, they say, you can not sow corn everywhere, you need its adapted varieties, you are asked to preserve grass-growing crop rotations. Is this not dogmatism and sabotage? ”
As a result, corn began to be promoted from 1959 up to Arkhangelsk and Karelia. In fact, it was a total outrage not only over the agricultural traditions of Russia, but over common sense.
True, initially there were significant successes. Thus, in the States and Canada, hybrid varieties of corn were bought, which were successfully introduced in the North Caucasus, in Ukraine and Moldova. They yielded high yields - half more than traditional Soviet varieties, and this dramatically improved the feed supply of livestock, significantly increasing its productivity in these regions already in 1958-1959. However, the "miracle" quickly ended. Americans and Canadians have already begun to raise seed prices since 1959. Khrushchev’s attempt to “agree” on their value during a visit to the United States did not lead to success. Therefore, Soviet purchases abroad faded away already in 1960.
The consequences were disastrous for the country's agriculture and food security. Since traditional crops were replaced with corn, instead of plenty of milk and meat in the USSR, their ubiquity came, except for Moscow, Leningrad and the nomenclature food distributors, a shortage. As well as the lack of most traditional Russian cereals. Negatively, "corn madness" has affected the livestock of cattle and pigs.
Already by 1964, at least 60% of the corn sowings produced in 1960-1962 years died, and the yield of the existing corn fields was twice as low as in 1946-1955's. therefore already with 1962, regular, and growing imports, including from North America of grain, including corn, and meat raw materials, began. Russia-USSR was implanted for import. But the scientists who openly opposed the All-Union Corn Epic, Khrushchev and the Khrushchevites were called "charlatans" and "cabinet bureaucrats." Therefore, if at the beginning Khrushchev was still trying to report on negative trends in the corn campaign (as well as virgin and other campaigns), soon, due to its tough and narrow position, local leaders not only closed the channel of cautious criticism, but also began to report only " positive".
And from the 1960 of the year, numerous false reports were sent to the Kremlin about record-breaking maize yields, unprecedentedly large gains in livestock production, one hundred percent supply of farms with feed. As well as the fact that Soviet corn varieties are much better than North American ones. Began bacchanalia with assignment of titles, other awards, prizes. At the XXI Congress of the CPSU, the pioneers made a verse greeting: “Raise calves and match us, we work with the whole class. We also want to catch up with America on meat! ”Already in the 70s, it came to the point that they defended dissertations on the long-term benefits of grain imports, primarily from the USA.
Soviet statistics was forced to hide the real state of affairs and trends in the economy, especially in agriculture. This information most often appeared under the heading "For official use". In order to somehow cover up the situation with the 1961 year, prices for livestock products, bread and cereals began to rise. Collective farms, especially livestock breeding, were transferred to state farms or transformed into state farms, and cattle and pigs were “withdrawn” from the farmsteads of collective farmers and personal farms of citizens at symbolic prices. In addition, taxes on poultry in collective farms and private farms were imposed, which were abolished only from the 1965 year. The lack of acceptable premises for keeping large numbers of animals, the poor condition of the food supply, unfavorable financial conditions for farmers and livestock and pigs for the state led to the mass slaughter of animals (including poultry) in their own farmsteads. It is clear that these measures could not change the situation. It is worth noting that Stalin, in his latest book, The Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, published in 1952, called such ideas "harshakovschiny" and "gibberish of furious Marxists."
It is not surprising that the “reforms” of the Khrushchevites led to a crisis in the livestock industry of the whole country, from which it did not fully recover until the collapse of the USSR (and then agriculture was cut down again, but already liberal “reforms”).
Blow to orthodoxy
Khrushchev's “Thaw” was marked by a new wave of persecutions against the Russian church. The party was led by the main ideologist of the party, M. A. Suslov. Across the Soviet Union, churches began to close again. They were given as warehouses, warehouses, clubs, etc. If under Stalin, mutual understanding was established between the state and the church, and the number of active temples reached 20 thousand, and many churches were rediscovered, then under Khrushchev, just over 7500 remained. The arrests of priests and believers resumed.
A powerful blow was inflicted on the Old Believers. Old Believers who did without priests (besopovtsy), were declared "sectarians." They closed the prayer houses of the Old Believers, destroyed their communities. From the territory of the Old Believer settlements, the masses exported ancient icons of the XVII — XVIII centuries, ancient church books and manuscripts. Many of them were invaluable, as they contained information about genuine stories Russia and the Russian people. A significant part of these artifacts was lost, died (as in the storerooms of the Grozny Museum, the repository of the Grozny University in 1990-s) or disappeared in private collections, leaked abroad.