Organization of Field Cultivation
In making a record of the basic elements that comprise the labor farm—the family and land—we can also pass on to the organization of the farm itself, the cultivation of its fields, meadows, livestock, and other sectors. The organizer ought naturally to begin his work by arranging that sector which is the dominant item in his income. For a suburban dairying area, this will be cattle; for market garden areas, it will be vegetable raising. Since for the overwhelming majority of Russian farms field crops are the most important sector, we put that at the basis of our considerations.
In order to organize cultivation of the fields, it is essential for us to find the best system, i.e.:
1. To select crops and forms of exploiting them which will give the highest and most stable payment for labor. Moreover, not only commodity crops have to be selected but also crops to meet the family's needs in kind, if this is more advantageous than acquiring the produce on the market by expanding the commodity area. In taking account of the advantageousness of commodity crops, one should, as Filippovskii rightly points out, also pay attention to commodity circulation costs, i.e., the overheads and outlays in kind and in money connected with the sale and purchase of goods.
2. To combine them with other auxiliary crops in a relationship and crop rotation which would not exhaust the soil but would restore its fertility.
3. To establish a rotation and relationship of crops that would give the most convenient distribution of labor throughout the year, i.e., a smooth distribution without excessive bunching in critical periods and without obligatory unemployment in other seasons.
4. Having established the best system of field cultivation in accordance with the tasks mentioned above, we must determine the desired size (volume) of field cultivation (arable) applicable to our farm family and its work force.
Having information at our disposal on the yields of individual crops, the labor and capital expenditure they need, as well as data on the state of the market situation in the area of our farm and the means of communication, it is not difficult to make clear which crop and what form of exploitation give the highest labor payment and are thus the most desirable for the farm. Our budget literature enables us to establish the rates of such payment for certain areas, as is seen from Table 4-13.
The rates of labor payment we have quoted vary extremely by crops and by areas, and no less over time. It is not difficult to trace the factors that cause this variation. First of all, there is the soil and the
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 135
Payment by Cost of Produce Excluding Outlays on Materials per Working Day (Kopeks)
Uezd Rye Oats Flax Clover per Working Day
Starobel'sk ......... - — — — 133.0
Volokolamsk ....... 84.6 109.6 157.1 256.0 138.0
Gzhatsk ........... 45.1 - 110.1 - 137.0
Porech'e ........... 54.3 63.7 115.7 - 123.0
Sychevka .......... 63.8 94.3 115.2 672.0 156.0
Dorogobuzh ....... 71.0 106.9 97.0 507.5 147.0
Vologda ........... 87.0 83.0 91.0 - 86.0
climatic conditions which influence the harvest and work forms. It is sufficient to trace the influence of categories of soil, even if only by the inquiries on Saratov guberniya, to become convinced of this factor's significance. The location of the farm in relation to the market, i.e., the means of communication which connect them, has no less, if not greater, significance.
Thus, for example, in his work Die Rentabilität der Wirtschaftssystem nach Thünens isolirtem Staat und in unserer Zeit (Berlin, 1909), which is based on concrete material, Professor F. Waterstradt calculates the influence of distance from the market (by railway) for four farms, each of 250 hectares with the following systems:
1. A farm with alternate husbandry, sugar beet, and cattle-raising (80 cows).
2. A fodder farm with increased cattle-raising (160 cows).
3. A farm with permanent natural pasture.
4. A sugar beet farm (26 percent of the area under sugar beet).
According to Professor F. Waterstradt's calculations, the net income of these farms, depending on degree of fertility, will change in the way shown in Table 4-14 with distance from sales point.
Net Income of Two-Hundred-Fifty Hectare Farm (Thousand Marks) D- . , First Category of Fertility Third Category of Fertility
Market by Railway Farm System Farm System
(Kilometers) I II III IV I II III IV
0 ........... 45.7 42.4 42.7 50.1 20.6 20.9 24.9 20.6
25 ........... 41.3 39.2 39.7 44.5 17.3 18.2 22.4 16.1
50 ........... 39.3 37.1 37.8 41.5 15.4 16.5 20.8 13.6
75 ........... 36.2 34.8 35.7 37.3 13.0 14.6 19.1 10.3
100 ........... 34.2 32.8 33.8 34.6 11.5 13.0 17.6 8.2
300 ........... 23.6 21.1 22.6 21.6 6.2 9.9 14.9 2.1
200 ........... 18.0 18.9 21.2 13.8 1.4 7.4 12.9 4.5
400 ........... 12.5 17.1 19.9 6.3 3.3 5.1 11.1 10.8
136 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Distance to Sales Point Long-Fallow Fallow as Percentage of Area Sown Pigs per 100 Desyatinas Sown
0 ....... 24.0 1.0 2.7
0-25 ..... 27.4 3.6 4.2
25-50 ) 39.7 0.3 2.8
50-100j '" *'
>100..... 283.5 0.0 0.5
are the factors on which spatial differences depend; differences over time, however, depend on yield and price levels. We can see from the following calculations how great are fluctuations of this type.
A desyatina of flax in 1900-1910 in Volokolamsk uezd, depending on these factors, gave the rates of labor payment shown in Table 4-16.
1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 Average
desyatina (puds) . 18.9 25.8 18.1 20.0 20.3 32.2 25.8 14.9 17.5 14.2 20.8
per pud) ........ 400 295 491 418 405 420 302 328 415 460 393
Gross income per
desyatina (rubles) 75.6 76.1 88.7 83.5 82.1 135.0 77.9 48.9 72.5 65.3 80.6
Gross income per desyatina with constant yield of
20 puds ........89.0 59.0 98.2 83.6 81.0 84.0 60.4 65.6 83.0 92.0 78.7
Gross income per desyatina with constant price of
4 rubles a pud ..75.6 103.2 72.4 80.0 81.2 128.8 103.2 59.6 70.0 56.8 83.6,
Looking at the table relating to the first, highest, category of fertility, we see that with distance from the market not exceeding 100 kilometers the farm of type IV is first in income. At a greater distance, up to 250 kilometers, first place passes to farms of type I, and at a distance of 300 kilometers or more type III begins to take the lead. At a lower level of fertility (third category), the picture changes and the type III farm predominates all the time. According to F. Water-stradt's calculations, the farm's distance from the railway station is of still greater significance.
No less interesting are the results of an investigation by one of the most outstanding Russian statisticians, G. I. Baskin, on the influence of distance from produce sales point on peasant farms in the south of Samara guberniya (in A. N. Chelintsev's version) (Table 4-15). Such
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 137
Instability (Average Deviation
from the Average) of
Harvest per Gross
Desyatina Price Income
Rye .......... .... 33.4% 26.0% 15.4%
Spring wheat .., .... 31.1% 19.1% 32.6%
If the yield had remained the same for this period, let us say 20 puds of flax per desyatina, under the influence of price changes alone we would get gross income fluctuations as shown in row 4. If the price always remained at 4 rubles a pud, gross income depending on harvest fluctuations would be as in row 5.
Calculating for each of the series quoted the average arithmetic deviation from the general average of the figures for individual years, we obtain the following coefficients for each series.
Instability of harvest per desyatina......... 20.6%
Instability of price per pud of flax......... 13.0%
Instability of gross income per desyatina .... 16.6%
We see that prices are the most stable; the explanation is that for flax they are not determined by any one uezd and its harvest but by the whole world total flax production. In view of prewar Russia's almost monopolistic situation on the world market, however, these prices were somewhat inversely proportional to the Russian harvest, and thanks to this they smoothed out fluctuations in gross income compared with harvest per desyatina. In this case, the flax market, despite its world significance for Russian flax-growing, might be considered a local market, since it was almost entirely determined by the Russian harvest.
In all local market produce, where price fluctuations are connected with and counterposed to harvest ones, fluctuations in labor payment and income will, in general, be less sharp than those in prices and harvest taken separately. For produce with a wider (world) market, for which local prices determined by the world harvest are completely unconnected with local harvests, these fluctuations do not correspond, and income is frequently more unstable than prices or harvests.
Thus, for example, if we take the average fluctuations in Poltava guberniya in harvest, prices and gross incomes for rye, as local market produce, and for spring wheat, as world market produce, we obtain the measurement of instability shown in Table 4-17.
Looking at these figures, we see that, despite great fluctuations in
138 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
rye harvests and prices, gross income from rye is more stable than the gross income from the world market crop, wheat. All the phenomena of these annual fluctuations which have been noted must undoubtedly be taken into account in estimating the advantageousness of individual crops. However, not the annual but the longer term fluctuations in the market situation are of still greater interest to us.
The chief importance for us is that long-term changes in the market situation completely alter the comparative advantageousness of crops, and frequently one which paid very well subsequently falls out of the rotation as a completely disadvantageous crop. Our institutes concerned with market forecasting, observing the state of the market and frequently foreseeing its fluctuations, ought in future to be responsible for a constant watch on the probable profitability of different crops, and by this comparative analysis give a pointer to the practical workers in agriculture as to the selection of the annual direction of their economic work.
Information on the comparative expected income from various spring grains is for us practical workers in agriculture immeasurably more important than any sort of barometer and index of the market situation for 20 or 60 commodities, which, unfortunately, the workers in these market forecasting institutes have not yet mastered. These are the conditions in which our farm, according to its soil, climatic, and market data, may select its most advantageous crops. To cultivate them as field crops, it is essential to analyze them from the viewpoint of agricultural science, putting them into a particular system of crop rotation and restoration of soil fertility.
For our part, it would be naive to attempt in these pages to expound the basic laws of contemporary agricultural science. It is enough for us to know that with a very small number of exceptions the repeated cultivation of one plant from year to year on one spot is impossible, since it causes so-called soil "exhaustion" for this crop, drains away the nutrient juices specifically essential for this crop, fills the soil with toxins, i.e., with plant secretions harmful to its cultivation, and sox)n. Therefore, from the viewpoint of agricultural science it is absolutely essential to alternate crops; moreover, numerous agricultural experiments have established the most favorable crop sequence. Thus, we know that in the northern area flax does very well after clover, that root crops provide for a following crop of grains, and so on. All these observations and scientific rules lead to a system of well-known crop rotations which guarantee the most stable and highest soil fertility.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 139
Having determined what are, from an economic viewpoint, our most advantageous crops and those required to meet certain farm needs in kind (fodder, etc.), we should connect them in a particular crop rotation, often adding auxiliary crops, not very advantageous in payment for labor but essential for reasons of agricultural technique. The combinations of different crops are extremely varied. Some theoreticians of farm organization usually treat them as a series of typical field-cropping systems, distinguishing them mainly by the methods they use to restore soil fertility.
In one of our early works (1911), we investigated the various forms of field-cropping systems encountered in Russia. Making use of Professor A. F. Fortunatov's enormous library, we were able to reduce all the local statistical and agricultural studies to six types: (1) three-course, (2) two-course, (3) irregular cropping, (4) the Perm' system of irregular cropping, (5) the long-fallow system, and (6) various systems with manuring by grazing the stubble. The map in Figure 4-1 gives us an idea of the distribution of these systems, according to our summary, for the area of former European Russia toward the start of the twentieth century. In working out this map, all the field-cropping systems were divided into the following basic types listed above.
1. Three-course. In this case, three-course means not so much the classical rotation of fallow, winter sown, and spring sown, as the economic system of three-course cropping in Russia, i.e., the division of the arable into transferable areas common to all proprietors, with obligatory common grazing after harvest—in a word, the communal three-field system of cropping. On the basis of painstaking investigations, we have succeeded in establishing the southern boundary of the area where the three-course system in this sense predominates; this is shown on the map in Figure 4-2.
Thus, here are included three-field farms with a rotation of fallow, spring sown, and partial leys, and, on the other hand, cases of three-course rotation—fallow, winter sown, spring sown—on one or two fields, or on several independent of one another and not connected with neighboring ones by a common and obligatory crop (the Perm' system of irregular cropping). I have also considered it not possible to include in this section three-field and abandonment rotations of the Siberian type—i.e., a long-fallow system in which a three-course rotation is worked three or four times and the area then abandoned for a long period.
2. Two-course. A crop rotation of fallow, winter sown, or fallow, spring sown on two fields, with obligatory common grazing after har-
140 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Peasant Field Systems in Russia at the End of the Nineteenth Century
THREE COURSE TWO-COURSE LONG FALLOW IRREGULAR CROPPING
PERM' IRREGULAR CROPPING
\ \ MANURING BY GRAZING THE STUBBLE
[ggjgjl IRREGULAR CROPPING AND THREE COURSE
HUI IRREGULAR CROPPING AND GRAZING THE STUBBLE
vest, this system is in its general arrangement close to the three-course rotation.
3. Irregular cropping. Included in this section are all "systems" characterized by the fact that the individual farm fields have no connection with one another and their cycle of sowings is carried out completely independently, sometimes by the irregular sowing of grain following grain, but sometimes having a certain periodicity, including common grazing on the stubble after a certain interval of years.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 141
Probable Southern Limit of Area with Peasant Three-Course System in the Late Nineteenth Century
We have considered it convenient to separate from this group the Perm' system of irregular cropping, as it is called, in which the periodicity is definitely sustained and amounts to a usual three- or four-course rotation. It differs from the other systems only in that each piece of land proceeds quite independently without any dependence on the others. Thus, there is no spatial system, and only the temporal one is observed.
4. The long-fallow system. This section consists of systems in which the exclusive use of abandonment as a method for restoring fertility makes it necessary for land used as arable to pass to other categories—steppe, forest, and so on. Here the period of abandonment much exceeds the period as arable. One of the determinants of this system is that the time to plow up the abandoned land is not deter
142 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
mined by the time spent without sowing but by the land's "ripeness"; this is judged by the vegetational cover. Strictly speaking, this system is close to the irregular cropping system we have established, since while having a sequence (system) in time, it has no spatial one. However, the fact of transition from one land category into another obliges us to treat it as an independent section.
5. The system of grazing the stubble. This group is very broad and includes a number of varied forms; it is purely artificial in character. Its determining characteristics are the presence of two or more annual grazings on the stubble and, chiefly, together with a sequence in time, the presence of some elements of a spatial system which connects the separate farm fields.
In the two decades that have passed, certain changes have naturally been noted in the geography of field-cropping systems. First of all, the so-called ley systems have developed and continue to develop with exceptional rapidity in the Moscow area and in all western guberniyas. In these systems, in which fallows are retained as a method for restoring soil fertility, sowings of annual or perennial grasses are introduced and make the crop rotation into a system of semialternate husbandry, restore the structure of the field, and, if legumes are included in the grass mixture, directly enrich the soil with nitrogen. In many areas, particularly in the sugar beet-sowing areas of the Ukraine and in patches in other guberniyas, genuine alternate husbandry systems without fallow have also been included in our systems of field cropping and have acquainted us with the sowing of root crops.
Such a subdivision is somewhat different from the usual one, and so we consider we may say a few words about the classification system as a whole and its themes. We dare suppose that every system—and, in general, any theory—is something artificial, and its significance is always only temporary and pedagogic. It aims to enable the thinking mind to perceive with as little effort as possible the whole mass of factual material and to grasp it as clearly as possible. In view of this, there may be a great number of classification systems; they are all "correct," and the whole question is which is simplest and most convenient. We personally ascribe great significance to the purposive evaluation of the systems—i.e., evaluation of any system according to how convenient it is for a particular purpose—supposing that for different purposes the material we have may be grouped into different systems.
Taking this into account, to classify raw material still not fully studied we ought to dwell on a system that rests on concrete, easily
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 143
established features (of a morphological character). Mainly, we should try to avoid introducing into the structure of the system any trace of a theory or hypothesis with historical, geographical, or any other content, i.e., of the sort that should, in any event, appear as the last stage of the work, the last conditional feature, but by no means be posed a priori.
In grouping the raw material, I have not considered that I had the right to use so-called "historical" systems which are so widespread among us. First, this would introduce an a priori premise about the specific historical sequence of systems. Second, the existing "historical" systems are, from a historical point of view, the crudest simplification of the development process of field-cropping systems and are also essentially morphological systems, and ones with poor morphological features, moreover.
Let us take for analysis the usual series (Ludogovskii): (1) long-fallow, (2) grain, (3) improved grain, (4) alternate husbandry, (5) free. For Russia, it has no historical significance. Thus, our southern irregular cropping with plant following plant, frequently according to the demands of the market, should, strictly speaking, be put in system 5. But at the same time, in the. reality of Russia—in Saratov guberniya, for example—irregular cropping follows immediately after a long-fallow; in Poltava it precedes three-course; and, finally, in Kursk it arises on the ruins of three-course system. Systems involving abandonment, which evidently should be put in the long-fallow section, both precede irregular cropping and also follow it, and in many cases they arise on the ruins of a three-course system (Chernigov and Vladimir guberniyas).
Within the limits of the field-cropping systems we have reviewed, various forms of sequence of crops or crop rotations are possible. Their variety is so great that the painstaking researchers could write a large, multivolume study on them. Unfortunately, such a work was written by Ermolov in his day only as regards the advantages of the large-scale landlord farms. Peasant crop rotations are still waiting to be studied. Of course, within the limits of this book we cannot make such a summary. Therefore, in speaking of crop rotations and wishing to explain the peculiar features of rural activities, we limit ourselves merely to a review of our northern ley rotations.
The first form of clover-sowing on the peasant farm is the so-called partial ley. In its most widespread type, one or two zones in the winter field are allocated, and the rye is undersown with clover. The following year, now the spring-sown field, the first year's mowing of clover
144 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Partial Ley Rotation
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1 ..... ... WCW FCe wc3cw SFlCa FC,
II ..... ... s F wcw sc1 FQ, wc3cw
Ill ..... ... F wcw scx FC2 wc3cw SF1CX
W—winter-sown field. S—spring sown. F-fallow. Fl-Flax.
Ci—first year's mowing of clover, and so on.
We see that from the fifth and sixth years, when the rotation has been established, clover is mown each year on part of each of the three fields, and flax following on clover occupies part of the spring-sown field. We should recognize that this rotation is very flexible and convenient; though it lacks regularity, the proprietor is always able, without violating the sequence of crops, to adapt the fodder area according to his wishes. It is easy to pass from this crop rotation to a correct six-course rotation: it requires only the annual sowing of the winter course with clover—not an arbitrary part but half of it. Then each of the three fields is split into two, and we will have a six-field rotation with a six-year sequence of crops.
Six-field Crop Rotation, Type I WCW - Cx - C2 - C3 - S - F/WCW, and so on
This rotation is found very rarely, since it reduces the grain area too much and, by bringing the clover area up to 50 percent, causes clover to be sown too frequently on the same ground, which leads to clover sickness. Therefore, the third clover crop (C3) is retained in the rotation only where there is a large market demand for timothy.
will be on these sections. In the third year, the clover sections are in the fallow field and are fenced off from the livestock. In the fourth year, the clover is usually left, in the winter-sown field the third year's mowing of clover is taken, and the rye in the other part of the same field is undersown with clover. In the fifth year, the sections where the clover has been are under flax. Since with this form of ley the clover is sown annually in the winter field, the rotation is as shown in Table 4-18.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 145
TABLE 4-19 Yaroslavl' Four-Field Crop Rotation
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
I .... .. WCW Cx c2 S F W S F
II .... .. s F wcw c2 s F W
Ill .... .. F W s F wcw Cx c2 S
IV .... ft S F W S F wcw Cx
We see that clover in this rotation is sown alternate years and cropped for two years, so that the clover field, too, is not sown to spring grains annually but in alternate years. This is very inconvenient on a flax-growing farm, since in years when the spring sown follows winter sown the flax does badly, and in years when clover is being grown part of its area should be devoted to oats and potatoes, thus causing a loss for flax-growing. Because of this, despite its advantages (the harmonious combination of winter and spring sown and fallow approximating to a three-course rotation, small number of fields, and so on), this rotation is inconvenient for flax-growing areas.
Moreover, the rotation is so complicated that the slightest deviation causes terrible confusion which is difficult to correct, and deviations occur very frequently. Sometimes, they forget to undersow the
Usually, however, flax is put in place of the third clover crop, and this gives the favorite Volokolamsk rotation.
Six-field Crop Rotation, Type II WCW - d - C2 - Fl - S -F/WCW, and so on
This rotation, which gives a considerable fodder area (33 percent), allows an equally considerable area of spring-sown grains to be grown. Flax following after clover is one-sixth of the whole rotation. At the same time, the fallow and winter sown is reduced, but the farm is not much concerned with the winter sown, since in any event its grain is enough for only six months, and the labor used in growing rye achieves a minimal payment compared with that for other crops, as we saw in Chapter 1. Therefore, this rotation is very popular and is rarely rejected, which cannot be said of the Yaroslavl' rotation favored by agricultural officers.
The Yaroslavl' rotation, as is well known, is an eight-course rotation on four fields, so that each year one field is under rye, one under clover, one is spring sown, and one fallow. Table 4-19 shows the crop sequence in this quite complicated rotation.
146 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
clover and sow the first spring grain in place of the clover; more frequently, they simply long for a third year's clover crop. The result is complete confusion. In Volokolamsk uezd, this rotation is most frequently rejected, and in 1910 two-thirds of the settlements with Yaroslavl' rotations had finally abandoned them.
The eight-year sequence on eight fields, called the Shipovo Volokolamsk eight-field rotation, is in somewhat better condition.
The Volokolamsk Eight-field Rotation WCW -Ci-Cs-S-F-W-S-F
Despite its title, this crop rotation is not very widespread in Volokolamsk uezd, although it enables flax to follow after clover each year.
I shall not deal with the peasant farm seven-field, nine-field, and five-field rotations with a ten-year sequence, since they differ from those treated only in that clover is cropped not two but three years. In conclusion, I shall describe one curious rotation created by the peasants of Kholmets, a hamlet in Volokolamsk uezd. This rotation is an eight-field one, and each fallow is linked with a particular cycle of crops (Table 4-20). A new item here, as compared with the preceding rotations, is pasture, which we have indicated with a P.
Field 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
I .. II . wcw ..w s ?•! P w
c, F 1 c2 [ P wcw w
111 I TV] • p wcw w s c2)
F 1 p w
ct F 1
c2 ( p
VI .. ..F \
..c2 ( p wcw w c, s c2|
F s p w
VII .. VIII .. ..s
Q F \
c2 \ p wcw w Q s C2|
F f p w
From this, it can be seen that each year a quarter of the area is under winter sown, a quarter is pasture, and an eighth is under spring-sown grain. This rotation is a complete contrast to the typical spring-sown Volokolamsk six-field, type II. It is an excellent cattle-farming rotation, since the three-year clover and the two-year fallow give ideal abundant pasture, and after this the livestock go over to the first-year fallow, which is then producing abundant grass. Unfortunately, according to the Kholmets peasants, sowings of flax do badly, and this rotation is hardly likely to become widespread in flax areas.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 147
3 Editor's note.—The meaning of this sentence is not entirely clear in the Russian version.
As regards pasture, peasant crop rotations proposed recently by A. G. Doyarenko at the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy Experimental Station are still more interesting and are based on an entirely new principle. The academy's experimental station has tenaciously and successfully worked on the problem of early fallows that give an appreciable increase in yields. Despite the obvious income to be gained from this, early fallows have not become accepted on the peasant farm because of the lack of pasture to which the livestock can be transferred from the fallow tilled in May or April. The task for the experimental station, then, was to find pasture. The answer was found by forming an abundant area of special fallows sown with pasture mixtures and especially of quick pasture crops between harvest and sowing which, undersown to rye along the boundaries, at harvest give a dense, low growth used for grazing throughout the autumn and in spring until the late potatoes are sown.3 These are the methods for creating a fodder area and its ensiling, with other elements of field husbandry.
Crop rotations, as we have seen, provide a very flexible technical solution to the tasks that natural conditions, market situation, and internal economic factors set before the family farm. In addition, the intensity of the factors of cultivation which constitute the content of man's agricultural activity is important in describing the field-cropping system adopted.
Tillage, cultivation, and even harvest methods may be changed in their labor and capital intensity. For example, the same potato crop can be grown by using 40 or 120 workdays, with a corresponding harvest; a desyatina of fallow may have 1,000 or 3,000 puds of dung spread on it, and so on. The intensity of cultivation factors on each farm depends on price levels and local natural conditions. As we saw at the end of Chapter 3, the on-farm factors of the family undertaking determine this intensity to a considerable degree, sometimes making it rise above the optimal level for farms based on hired labor. Unfortunately, empirical studies of agricultural production technique are so insignificant that we are not in a position even to fully illustrate these statements.
After determining the most advantageous crops and linking them in a rational crop rotation from the viewpoint of agricultural science, we ought to check this rotation from the aspect of labor organization
148 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
in time. Each crop has its own individual features as regards labor organization, and their labor intensive periods occur at different times. Table 4-21 and Figure 4-3, which we have calculated for Volokolamsk uezd, give quite a clear picture of this. As is seen from the work
Labor Expenditure (Working Days) for Various Crops in Volokolamsk Uezd by Half-Monthly Periods
distribution over time, rye is predominantly a summer crop, potatoes and especially spring-sown grains are spring and autumn crops, while flax, unlike the others, involves expending energy in winter on the primary processing of the fiber.
For the peasant farm, the task is to compose its field cultivation of such crops and proportions that the critical moments characteristic of their labor organization do not coincide, and the general labor intensity on the farm should be more or less uniform. In this respect, the labor farm's tasks differ sharply from those of the capitalist farm,
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 149
10 20 30 40 50
time scale in weeks
It is clear that such a development curve for peasant farm labor intensity is quite senseless, since at critical periods the farm family would be worn out and for the rest of the year would be unemployed. Hence, on peasant farms there is a more uniform distribution of labor, as is seen from the diagram of a Volokolamsk farm (Figure 4-5).
Thus, by means of a series of repeated estimates we establish the field-cropping system best for the particular area and market situation; we introduce the necessary corrections if required for the specific features of this particular farm. We should then proceed to establish the volume of field-cropping activities, starting from the family labor force and the conditions present for land use. As we
which solves the critical moments of its labor organization with the help of temporary labor, frequently from outside. The capitalist farm is, therefore, not merely unconcerned about distributing work as evenly as possible over the year, but even aims at making it uneven in principle and at timing the greatest blocs of labor for the cheap wage periods. Studies of a number of Austrian farms give us characteristic examples of labor distribution over time and we show one of these (Figure 4-4).
FIGURE 4-4 Number of Workers per 100 Hectares on a Beet Farm in Lower Austria (The two peaks indicate the planting and harvesting periods)
Labor Expenditure (Working Days) for Certain Crops in Volokolamsk Uezd by Half-Monthly Periods
Desyatina Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total
of 12 12 12 12 1212
Rye _______ 15.3 3.1 1.7 6.5 10.4 7.7 - - - - - 45.0
Oats ........... - - - - 3.6 3.6 - - - - - - 5.3 9.1 - - - - 21.6
Potatoes ........ - - - - 3.5 21.4 3.3 - - - - - - 25.4 - 58.2
Flax ...........10.5 - - 2.9 5.0 - - - - - 14.5 14.2 6.5 - 8.8 14.2 10.5 87.2
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 151
121212121212121212121212 I I IEII1MEIEXI
t 1 FLAX GROWING WMi EARNINGS OFF FARM
I 1 OTHER FIELD WORK B| HOUSEHOLD WORK
I I MOWING
Editors' note —This figure appears to be the same as Fig 3—4
know, this question is finally solved by the equilibrium of the on-farm factors we have studied; yet we can give its objective maximum and minimum limits, called the labor and consumer rates.
At one time, much attention was devoted to both these rates in our agrarian literature. From the extensive literature of the question, most interesting are the works of N. P. Makarov, who summed up all preceding work in his report to the Second Congress of the Agrarian Reform League in 1917. In this case, the amount of arable which uses the family's whole labor force with normal intensity is taken as the labor rate. To determine this, it is necessary to take the labor intensity curve for the chosen crop rotation and analyze the number of desyatinas that our family can cope with in the period of greatest labor intensity.
If harvesting is taken as this period, the map (Figure 4-6), drawn up by N. P. Makarov, gives an approximation of the labor rate for bread grains. The considerable difference between north and south is
FIGURE 4-5 Distribution of Work by Half-Monthly Periods
152 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
FIGURE 4-6 Labor Rates for Sowing Grains
explained by differences in technology (sickle, scythe, reaper, etc.). In the chosen crop rotation, the secondary crops which give a maximum labor intensity in other periods have to be added to the grain-sown area; thus, we obtain in sum the sown area, which determines the size of the field cultivation.
If the area so calculated cannot be fully developed because of the conditions of land use, it then must be determined taking them into account. By means of reviewing the crop structure and the work methods, the farm must be somewhat intensified so that at the cost of a reduction in labor payment the family labor force can be rather fully deployed on the reduced area.
The consumer rate, of great significance in agrarian problems, has no particular value for us in view of the considerable development of
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 153
Actual land use by family .................... 9.8
Consumer rate for: medium consumption ...... 9.8
highest consumption ....... 12.8
Labor rate using in agriculture the time of those going to work in crafts and trades,
total ...................................... 15.7
One-Half .................................... 12.8
One-Fourth .................................. 11.3
For Vologda uezd we have:
Actual land use .............................. 7.8
Consumer rate: medium consumption.......... 6.0
increased consumption ......... 7.9
highest consumption .......... 10.6
Labor rate with full use on agriculture and
all time on crafts and trades ................ 10.0
Makarov's comparisons are particularly interesting in that they clearly show that the marginal labor rate cannot give the peasant the high level of consumption observed in the wealthiest village strata and founded on skilled crafts and trades or nonlabor income.
The account we have finished of field crops gives us a basis for calculating the draft power required on the farm, since nine-tenths of it is needed in field-cropping. Thus, for Starobel'sk uezd we have:
Horse Workdays Expended on Percentage
Fields .......................... 92.7
Meadows ....................... 2.3
Forest .......................... 1.0
Vegetable garden ................ 4.0
Total for farm ............ 100.0
In the north, a somewhat greater amount of horse work is spent on meadows and forest, but we have no more precise estimates.
Since we do not aim at giving practical guidance on organizing peasant farms, we will not discuss here all possible forms of draft but will limit ourselves to an estimate of horse draft as the most widespread form. The number of horses required is reckoned in the same
crafts and trades in Russian peasant activity. However, if we understand it as the area of field cultivation with which the peasant family will be able to meet its needs at the lowest observed household consumption level or other levels of well-being, according to Makarov's works, for a medium-sized farm of the central Tambov guberniya zone we will have:
154 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
way the labor rates of land use are determined, according to the critical period for labor organization. But here, our deliberations proceed in the opposite direction. In calculating the labor rate, we took possible family labor intensity throughout the whole critical period and calculated the area with which this labor could cope. In calculating draft power, however, the area is given, and we must say how many horses are needed to cope with a particular sown area in the critically intensive period of horse work. Dividing the total horse work required by the horse's labor productivity rate, we obtain the figure we are seeking, which we round to a whole number. Thus, for Volokolamsk uezd see Table 4-22.
TABLE 4-22 Horse Workdays per Desyatina Sown
Apr. May June July Aug. Sep. Nov. Dec. Total
Rye ...... . 0.2 0.4 11.9 2.6 10.5 0.3 0.9 26.8
Oats ...... . 2.2 7.5 — — 1.0 2.0 0.3 13.0
Flax ...... . 5.4 7.8 — — 3.1 1.8 2.6 20.7
Potatoes .. . 2.6 13.4 2.6 — — 6.1 — 24.7
Clover - - 1.0 3.4 0.1 0.3 - 4.8
Horse Workdays per Desyatina Sown JAN. FEB MAR. APR. MAY JUN. JUL. AUG.SEP. OCT. NOV. DEC.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 155
Sown Area Sown Working Horses Desyatina
0.01-3.0 ......... 1.76 0.59 0.33
3.01-7.50 ........ 5.56 1.80 0.34
7.5-15.00 ....... 11.60 4.32 0.37
> 15.00 ....... 23.09 7.08 0.31
Average ....... 9.62 3.18 0.33
In Starobel'sk uezd, there are 3.00 desyatinas of sown per horse. For other areas, we have: Volokolamsk uezd, 2.6 desyatinas; Gzhatsk uezd, 2.6; Porech'e uezd, 3.2; Sychevka uezd, 3.3; Dorogobuzh, 2.4 desyatinas. Because the number of horses depends on the critical period in their labor organization, which is extremely unevenly distributed through time, for the greater part of the year the peasant farm horse has no work and is, in general, little used. Table 4-24, showing how horse work is distributed on the flax and clover farm of Ivan Kokush-kin in Novoselki, Sereda volost, Volokolamsk uezd, gives us a clear picture of how the farm's two horses are used.
It is obvious from the table that although the horses are used little, Ivan Kokushkin cannot manage with one horse, since in the second half of July and the first half of August his needs for draft power exceed that of one horse if we suppose that the demands amount to 12 workdays in the half-month. A comparison of these figures with data from other areas is shown in Table 4-25.
The fact that the Russian peasant horse is not used much explains why, although it is fed on hay, it endures much, serves long, and, in general, is little subject to disease. The horse's low utilization coefficient means that draft power is not cheap for our peasant farm. Table 4-26 gives a workhorse account for an average Volokolamsk uezd peasant farm with 2.52 horses.
Consequently, one working day cost 68.5 kopeks. It is self-evident that with the horse being used even less the cost of its upkeep divided by a smaller and smaller number of working days means such a high
Quite naturally, given such a method for establishing the amount of draft power required, the number of horses on the farm should be more or less proportional to its sown area. Thus, for Starobel'sk uezd see Table 4-23.
Sown Area and Workstock (Item 59) (per Farm)
Desyatinas in Terms of per
TABLE 4-24 Horse Workdays per Farm
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total
12 12 12 12 12 12
Rye ................ - - - - - - - -22 - - 16- - - - - - 38
Oats ................ — — — _ — — — __ __ __ — — — —
Flax ................ - - - -8 8 - - - - - -6 - - 1 - - 23
Potatoes ............ - - - — % 2 - % % — — - 1 - - - - 4%
Clover .............. - - - - - - - - - - " 2 - - - - - - - 2
Hay meadows ....... — — — — — — — — — — 4 — — — — — — — 4
Carting firewood..... — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 12 12
Other work ......... — — — — — — 3 — — — — — — — — — — — 3
Hire to other
farms ............. 20 - - - - - - - 2 6- - 1 - - - - 8 37
Family trips......... 6 6 6 62 22 4- 22 12 26 6 6 8 69
Total ......... 26 6 6 6 10% 12 5 4% 24% 8 8 17 9 3 6 7 6 28 192%
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm
FIGURE 4-8 Horse Workdays
JAN. FEB MAR APR MAY JUN. JUL. AUG. SEP OCT. NOV DEC
PLANTING POTATOES j I SOWING CLOVER
H CARTING FIREWOOD r~~~^ MOWING
[~~j HIRE TO OTHER FARMS OTHER FARM WORK
SOWING RYE FAMILY TRIPS
[~~~ SOWING FLAX
TABLE 4-25 Work per Horse for the Farm
Uezd Total Workdays per Year Percentage Use * Horse Work days per Desyatina of Arable Horse Work days per 100 Human Workdays
Volokolamsk 48 6 16 6 12 3 29 3
Gzhatsk 48 6 13 3 14 8 27 1
Porech'e 79 6 21 8 12 6 312
Sychevka 67 6 18 5 78 32 2
Dorogobuzh 68 5 188 12 5 25 2
cost for draft power that the peasant cannot keep a horse. It is more advantageous to hire one, even though at a very high price. Thus, the cost of a horse's working day, assuming 30 days per desyatina and 50 rubles as the cost of maintenance, is as seen in Table 4-27 and Figure 4-9. These figures give us the economic basis for a more or less rational lack of horses.
Undoubtedly, in many cases the peasant whose horse has died or
158 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Cost of horses at start of year ... 113.10
Horses purchased during year .. 6.70
Share in general expenses...... 18.89
Care of horses ................ 11.94
Feed ......................... 120.67
Other expenditure ........... 7.45
Total .................. 278.75
Cost of horses at end of year ..
Manure (1818.6 puds) ........
Received for manure.........
Work on own farm:
104.6 days on field work 5.1 on meadows 19.7 on general work 52.0 on services to family ..
125.75 12.76 15.93
Cost of Horse Loss or Profit
Farm Size Horses Workday Compared with Hire
(Desyatinas) Required (Kopeks) at 80 Kopeks a Day
1 ........... 1 160 -80
2 ........... 1 83 - 3
3 ........... 1 50 +30
4 ........... 1 42 +38
5 ........... 2 67 +13
6 ........... 2 56 +24
7 ........... 2 47 +33
8 ........... 2 42 +38
9 ........... 3 56 +24
has been stolen is without a horse because he is unable to allocate from his miserly income the money necessary to get a new one. But on farms without many resources, it is simply not an advantage to the
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm 159
peasant family to have a horse, and they prefer to hire one, frequently with a man. On these grounds, curious cases sometimes occur, as in Vologda guberniya, when a semiproletarianized family hired a rich peasant who, in this case, was a worker not only receiving full payment for his labor but also taking a share from the labor payment of his master.
Having finished the account of the workstock, we cannot pass on to the organization of commercial livestock raising without a preliminary calculation of the farm's fodder resources. However strange it may seem to the reader who is not an agricultural officer, the organization of feed-getting is almost the center pin in farm organization.
All sectors of the farm are connected in one way or another with fodder organization, some as suppliers (meadow, pasture, field-cropping, housekeeping), others as consumers of the fodder stocks. Therefore, every change in the organization of any farm sector also reflects, to some extent, on the organization of feed-getting and, frequently, through it on other sectors of the organizational plan. Thus, for example, the literature has noted more than once the disintegrating effect of flax cultivation in the three-field peasant farm. When flax is introduced where feed-getting is overwhelmingly based on the straw from spring-sown grains, this stock of fodder is reduced. This, in turn, reduces the livestock sector, the amount of dung produced, and thus leads to soil exhaustion.
In practice, on the Russian peasant farm feed-getting is based on two different types of reckoning: (1) with a surplus of natural feed stocks, (2) with a distinctly marked lack of stocks.
In the first type, when there are huge amounts of straw from the spring grains (the southeastern extensive grain farm), many natural pastures (Siberia and the northeast of European Russia), or abundant supplies of offals from industrial production (sugar beet and distilling areas), the feed problem amounts to the fullest use of some form of commercial livestock farming. Here, feed-getting is not arranged according to the livestock required but, on the contrary, the stock are arranged according to the feed naturally obtained. One way to use the mass of heavy threshing-floor feeds and industrial offals is to transfer from horse to ox draft and to organize meat and draft production.
However, in the majority of Russia's guberniyas we meet with the directly contrary type of reckoning caused by a deficiency of feed,
160 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY