Friday, May 30, 2014

6 ALEXANDER CHAYANOV The Theory of Peasant Economy

when the absolutely essential number of stock, sometimes required only for draft and dung, cannot be supplied with feed from the farm's resources.
A rough estimate, which apart from everything else is a check for all the sections of the organizational plan reviewed earlier, will easily show us the situation on most peasant farms in European Russia.
The Organizational Plan of a Consumer Three-field Farm
1. The usual peasant family consists of 6 persons, equal to 3.5 full adult consumers, if we take the children's consumption in terms of that of adults.
2. For 3.5 consumers, 20 puds of grain a year per consumer are needed, which makes 20 X 3.5 = 70 puds per family.
3. With a harvest of 50 puds a desyatina (excluding seed), this requires 1.4 desyatinas of (winter) rye sown.
4. With a three-field system, this will mean 1.4 desyatinas of winter sown + 1.4 desyatinas of spring sown +1.4 desyatinas of fallow, or 4.2 of arable in all.
4. To work 2.8 desyatinas of sown, the farm ought to have one horse (a horse can work up to 4 desyatinas of sown).
6. For 1.4 desyatinas of fallow at the usual peasant rate of 1,500 puds of dung per desyatina, 1,500 X 1.4 = 2,100 puds of dung are required.
7. One average head of cattle with normal peasant feeding provides about 500 puds of dung. Thus, to obtain 2,100 puds, 4.2 head of cattle are required, corresponding to the following composition of the herd—for ex­ample, 1 horse, 2 cows, 2 small stock.
8. To overwinter this stock, with 180 days in stall, 125 puds of hay a head are needed, that is, 4.2 X 125 = 525 puds of hay.
9. With an average hay harvest for Russia of 100 puds, 525 X 100 = 5.25 desyatinas of meadow are required, amounting to 1.24 desyatinas per de-syatina of arable. The total farm area (arable and meadow) will equal 9.45 desyatinas or 10 desyatinas with the homestead.
10. If, however, we take the hay harvest at 90 puds—and this agrees bet­ter with our dry valley meadows—the meadow to arable ratio will be 1.4
However, it is by no means everywhere that peasant farms can have such an abundance of meadow. In the north of Russia, only in Vo­logda guberniya are there settlements where there is more than a desyatina of meadow to each desyatina of arable. In other places, due to the pressure on the land, meadows have to be plowed and feed-getting transferred to the arable. In accordance with this, we must alter the final section of our reckoning. Let us suppose that of our 1.4 desyatinas in the spring-sown field a whole desyatina is sown to oats, which gives 70 puds of fodder. Supposing that 10 puds of oats straw replaces 6 puds of hay, we can replace hay with the straw, and we will manage, not with 525 puds of hay, but with 466 puds, which requires
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      161
Arable .................... ...     3.7 desyatinas   
Meadow  .................. ...     6.1   
Livestock: 9.8   
Horses .................. .. .     0.9 head   
Cows  ................... ...     2.1   
Small livestock .......... .. .     2.4   
Poultry  ................. ...     3   
Total in terms of cattle .. . 3.6   
Expended on feed:   
Meadow hay ............ ... 499.0 puds   
Straw (from spring and   
winter grains) ......... ...   93.0   
Chaff ................... ...   26.2   
Additives   ............... ...    6.1   
Grain ................... ...   24.0   
Total  ............. ... 648.3 puds  
Although the farm has more than one and a half desyatinas of meadow to each desyatina of arable, it can maintain less than four head of cattle. This is explained by the poor hay harvests obtained from northern dry valley meadows and the very lengthy stalled period during the long northern winter. Nevertheless, although the amount of fodder gathered in by the Vologda farm is not great its quality is very high; so coarse, straw-type fodder is less than a fifth of the total.
4.66 desyatinas of meadow. Then the meadow-arable ratio will be such that in our settlements there will be 11 desyatinas of meadow to 10 of arable, and the total area of the two on the farm will be not 9.45 but 8.86 desyatinas. If lack of land does not allow the farm to have this amount, the number of livestock must be reduced and ma­nuring of the fields cut back, or, better, the peasant must sow part of the fields to grass.
Such are the serious difficulties we meet with in feed-getting in the organization of the consumer unit. It is self-evident that these diffi­culties increase many times if we try to develop livestock-raising as a commercial commodity sector of the farm and attempt to raise peas­ant family well-being by intensification.
The three tables given below (Tables 4-28, 4-29, 4-30) show us rather clearly the variety and intensity with which the peasant farm manages to obtain fodder in different circumstances. First, we will look at the way fodder is obtained on a three-field farm abundantly supplied with meadow. We can consider an average farm of Vologda uezd as such an example (Table 4-28).
TABLE 4-28
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      161
Arable .................... ...    3.7 desyatinas   
Meadow   .................. ...     6.1   
Livestock: 9.8   
Horses .................. ...     0.9 head   
Cows   ................... ...     2.1   
Small livestock .......... ...     2.4   
Poultry  ................. ...     3   
Total in terms of cattle ... ...     3.6   
Expended on feed:   
Meadow hay ............ .499.0 puds   
Straw (from spring and   
winter grains) ......... ...   93.0   
Chaff ................... ...   26.2   
Additives   ............... ...     6.1   
Grain ................... ...   24.0   
Total  ............. ... 648.3 puds  
Although the farm has more than one and a half desyatinas of meadow to each desyatina of arable, it can maintain less than four head of cattle. This is explained by the poor hay harvests obtained from northern dry valley meadows and the very lengthy stalled period during the long northern winter. Nevertheless, although the amount of fodder gathered in by the Vologda farm is not great its quality is very high; so coarse, straw-type fodder is less than a fifth of the total.
4.66 desyatinas of meadow. Then the meadow-arable ratio will be such that in our settlements there will be 11 desyatinas of meadow to 10 of arable, and the total area of the two on the farm will be not 9.45 but 8.86 desyatinas. If lack of land does not allow the farm to have this amount, the number of livestock must be reduced and ma­nuring of the fields cut back, or, better, the peasant must sow part of the fields to grass.
Such are the serious difficulties we meet with in feed-getting in the organization of the consumer unit. It is self-evident that these diffi­culties increase many times if we try to develop livestock-raising as a commercial commodity sector of the farm and attempt to raise peas­ant family well-being by intensification.
The three tables given below (Tables 4-28, 4-29, 4-30) show us rather clearly the variety and intensity with which the peasant farm manages to obtain fodder in different circumstances. First, we will look at the way fodder is obtained on a three-field farm abundantly supplied with meadow. We can consider an average farm of Vologda uezd as such an example (Table 4-28).
TABLE 4-28
The stock of fodder in a southern three-field farm in Voronezh gu­berniya is made up quite differently (Table 4-29). Here, almost all
TABLE 4-29
Arable ..................... 10.1 desyatinas   
Meadow   ................... ...   JL2   
Horses ................... 1.6   
Oxen  .................... 1.0   
Cows   .................... ...     1.2   
Small livestock ........... . .   16.0   
Total livestock in terms   
of cattle................ ..    7.8   
Expended on feed:   
Meadow hay ............. .. 108.8 puds   
Straw (from spring and   
winter grains) .......... .. 594.0   
Chaff .................... ... 143.0   
Additives   ................ ...   34.4   
Grain ..................... ...   40.0   
Total ................ ... 920.2*  
* Editors* note.—The total given in the Russian original is 921.1. We have assumed the error to be in the addition, but it may be in the constituent items.
the land is arable. With the short period of winter stalling (140 days as against the 180 days in Vologda), these fodder stocks, which are one and a half times those in Vologda, enable twice as many livestock to be kept. On the other hand, the quality of the feed cannot be called good, since three-fourths of it is coarse fodder, which explains the high death rate among stock in the south and the great quantity of small livestock. Here, feed-getting is almost entirely transferred to the arable and based on using the wastes from the field crops.
We have quite a different picture (Table 4-30) on the clover farms of Volokolamsk4 uezd where, thanks to the clover, the farm creates ex­ceedingly abundant feed stocks for itself. Looking at the table, we see that because clover was introduced the Volokolamsk farm, without increasing the meadow area, created abundant feed stocks of fine quality. We can judge how beneficial are the results of introducing sown grasses from Table 4-31, drawn up by Moscow statisticians, which describes the changes that take place in livestock farming after a more or less lengthy period of sowing grasses. We see that as grass-sowing and the accompanying improvement in fodder stocks become
4 Editor's note.—Reading Volokolamskogo instead of Vologodskogo.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      163
TABLE 4-30
Arable ....................... 7.1 desyatinas
Meadow   ..................... 2.2
Horses ..................... 2.5
Cows   ...................... 2.4
Small livestock ............. 3.5
Total livestock in terms
of cattle.................. 6.1
Expended on feed:
Meadow hay ............... 298.4 puds
Clover hay............... 429.0
Straw from winter grain..... 271.0
Straw from spring grains .... 92.0
Grain ...................... 56.6
Cake   ...................... 6.2
Total ................1,153.2
FIGURE 4-10 Organization of Feed-getting
Vologda uezd
Starobel'sk uezd Khar'kov guberniya
Volokolamsk uezd
Grain II Cake 1       ] Additives I        1 Vegetable
Oats straw Straw Chaff Arable
j Meadow Hay E3888%I Clover Hay Meadow
mm Workers in Family
Stock, in terms of cat
Horses per 100 Households Average Weight of Live Cow Average Annual Milk Yield   
Settlements without sown   
grasses ................ 115 16 puds   24 Russian pounds 98 vedros   
Settlements sowing grasses   
for 1-3 years .......... 115 17 16 111   
Settlements sowing grasses   
for 3-13 years ......... 126 19 32 113   
Settlements sowing grasses   
for more than 13 years . 129 19 12 123  
established the number of horses considerably increases. On the farms of peasants who start sowing grasses, the average weight of cows in­creases and the milk yield goes up rapidly, increasing by 30 percent in 13 years of clover-sowing. Such are the abundant fruits of introducing sown grasses. However, the proprietor who wishes to reconstruct his farm cannot stop at increasing the quantity of feed on the farm; it is also quite important to improve its quality.
As is seen from the tables, the farm feed resources are extremely limited and give very little opportunity to develop commercial live­stock raising; this requires special measures. In our example, the ef­fect of sown grasses on the feed situation is especially obvious. In areas where local conditions make the development of dairying or pig farming particularly advantageous, feed stocks may be increased ei­ther by introducing into the rotation roots and tubers for feed or by purchasing concentrates (cake and offals).
The problem of summer grazing is still more difficult in Russia. The lack of dry feed, apart from all other considerations, makes im­probable the transfer of our livestock farming to a stalled system; the absence of good pasture obliges us to use for the stock all types of land which give any sort of feed at all. Peasant stock cause much harm to the farm by being pastured on the land, in the meadows until forbid­den, in the forest, in the fallow field, in the meadow after mowing, and on the stubble. Their trampling destroys the soil structure and causes unbelievable losses to forestry. Some statistical information we have collected gives the following disquieting picture.
For Vologda guberniya, Tot'ma uezd, we have an average for sev­eral years where they start to pasture the animals on fallow, two of the three meadows, on arable, on meadow until forbidden, and on spring
TABLE 4-31 Grass Sowing and the Peasant Farm
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      165
grain field until sowing (a typical Russian use), 24 days, which amounts to 17 percent of the total time. They are grazed on special pasture in the forest for the following 60 days, 41 percent of the total time; for a further 19 days, 13 percent of the time, they are pastured on fields of winter-sown stubble and on the aftermath (of meadows). For a further 42 days, until stalled, i.e., 29 percent of the total time, they are pastured on wastes, the stubble of the spring grains, and the forest. In all, this is 100 percent and 145 days.
The whole is estimated at 64 puds of hay per head. Thus, we see that special pasture serves for grazing only 40 percent of the total time, and half of that is forest grazing. These are the data for the north of Vologda guberniya. We quote the data for Vologda uezd in Table 4-32.
TABLE 4-32 Average for Five Years
Spring field before sowing ... ...   10.9 days The type is the same, pas-   
Hayfields until forbidden..... ...   18.0 ture figures as pasture for   
Fallow and two of the a very small part of the   
three meadows ............ ...   22.1 time.   
Forest and pasture........... ...   47.5   
Stubble  ..................... ...   43.8   
* Editors' note.—The total given in the Russian original is 152.2
Moscow guberniya data for 1912 is as follows.
Period 1. The livestock were driven out on April 18; the first bite ap­peared on May 2. Consequently, 14 days were dead. The stock had to be fed at home; they moved over the field but did not feed from it. Till May 20, they fed off the water meadows until it was forbidden.
TABLE 4-33
Percentage of Settlements
Fallow  ............................. 50.4
Fallow and pasture.................. 14.0
Fallow and forest ................... 7.5
Fallow and part of the meadow
in sequence ....................... 2.1
Fallow and rented pasture........... 2.9
Pasture   ............................ 10.0
Forest .............................. 2.9
Allocated meadow .................. 1.0
Rented areas ....................... 3.0
All types ........................... 4.0
Period 2. Different villages use different grazing areas as pasture (730 villages in all) (Table 4-33).
Now let us turn to the extreme south, to Taurida guberniya, where pasture used is as shown in Table 4-34. Even if we take virgin land
TABLE 4-34
Virgin land and forest .............. 60 days
Virgin land, forest, and fallow...... 30
Virgin land, forest, and aftermath
of meadows.................. 50
Virgin land, forest, aftermath, and
winter-sown stubble ............. 30
Virgin land and forest.......... 30
Forest   ............................ 90
as pasture, here, too, forest, fallow, aftermath, and stubble are used as pasture. As is seen, everything is made to contribute to pasture, and this makes the fodder question still more basic and the sharpest prob­lem in our agricultural thinking.
FIGURE 4-11 Annual Grazing by Land Type
Vologda guberniya Moscow guberniya Taurida guberniya
Spring field prior to sowing
Fallow and two of the three meadows
Forest and pasture Stubble
Fallow and pasture
Fallow and forest
Fallow and part of the meadow in sequence
IVirgin land and forest
Virgin land, forest and fallow
Virgin land, forest and aftermath of meadows
|Virgin land, forest aftermath and winter sown stubble
J Forest
j Allocated meadow Rented areas
[       j All types
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      167
Commercial Livestock Farming
The fodder estimate example we made in the preceding section also determines the possible amount of commercial livestock. The type of feed stocks on the farm, market conditions, and, finally, work force available and demand for draft force and dung are the factors that determine the type of livestock farming.
Professor A. N. Chelintsev, who has devoted much study to live­stock farming, has noted that pig farming is quite developed in inten­sive farming areas. Conversely, in extensive farms with poor quality fodder stocks sheep farming is common. Because of this, the intensity of livestock farming may be fully indicated by the number of pigs to that of sheep.
Of the three possible forms of cattle, the draft and meat one, based on using a great quantity of residues from threshing floors or indus­trial offals, naturally has a high percentage of oxen. Of the two others, the most intensive dairying form depends on a high percentage of cows in the herd (up to 75 percent, according to Chelintsev), while the meat form—animals being fattened for meat—naturally gives a much lower percentage of cows.
It is self-evident that in each of these types the organizational basis for commercial livestock farming is quite different in character. To review them in all their variety of possible forms would require doz­ens, if not hundreds, of pages. Therefore, in approaching their or­ganization solely to throw light on the general economic problems before us we will deal with only two factors.
1. Study of herd composition and changes in composition over time in order, by means of this example, to trace how technical and eco­nomic factors mutually determine the forms of capital of the agri­cultural undertaking.
2. Study of the general annual turnover of livestock farming in order to acquaint the reader with the peasant farm's production machine in the livestock farming sphere.
To answer the first problem, we should first of all deal with the theoretical analysis of the herd's development. Let us take a 1925 herd of 100 cows, each weighing 20 puds, and 50 yearling calves, each weighing 10 puds. In the course of the year, 10 cows are culled be­cause of old age, and 80 cows have a calf each.
Obviously, to retain the herd's composition at the end of the year 10 heifers in the course of the year must be reclassed as cows to re­place those culled, and 50 of the newborn calves should be taken as
future yearlings. These 60 head are replacements needed to maintain the same composition of the herd. The rest of the young animals—40 heifers and bullocks, and 30 calves—are surplus to replacement re­quirements and without harming the herd may be slaughtered or sold, together with the 10 culled cows, to provide the farm with in­come. Expressing cows and young animals, not in numbers of head, but puds of liveweight, we can represent the herd's development by Figure 4-12.
Having looked at the machinery for the development of the herd, we can also see the means of controlling it. It is obvious that to in­crease the herd organically one need only allocate a greater share than usual as replacements and, by reducing the amount of meat for mar­ket, obtain the next year an increase in the basic number of the herd. This method can be applied unless the young animals are so deficient that there are not enough even for the usual number of replacements. It is clear that in this case building up the numbers of young animals should precede an increase in the adult numbers.
Undoubtedly, on a single farm possessing not 100 but 23 cows these processes will not be so obvious, but their character and content will be the same. Tables 4-35 and 4-36 enable us to compare our theoreti­cal estimates with real facts.
Careful study of Table 4-35 shows us that this year was very unfa­vorable for the Starobel'sk farms' livestock holdings and led to a no-
TABLE 4-35
Composition and Movement of Capital Devoted to Livestock (Rubles)
Value of Obtained Value of
Sown Area Stock at Lost and Increase in in Kind Livestock
per Farm Start of Carried Value During From from at End of
(Desyatinas*) Year Sales Off          Slaughtered Purchases Year\ Offspring Outside Year
0.00          ............ 19.9 10.4 0.7 4.3 12.2 1.5 1.7 - 19.9
0.01-3.00   ............ 50.2 40.1 0.7 2.7 42.2 3.2 1.6 0.5 54.2
3.01-7.50   ............ 228.8 71.7 22.6 22.4 68.1 28.4 17.4 0.3 226.9
7.51-15.00 ............ 539.0 138.1 31.8 49.0 123.7 31.2 33.9 0.1 519.0
> 15.00 ............ 961.0 184.6 59.5 79.2 145.9 69.3 69.9 14.2 937.0
Average ......... 412.4 100.7 26.8 36.1 88.9 32.4 28.6 3.3 402.0
* Editors' note.—Russian text reads "rubles."
t Includes increase in value of animals reclassified as adult as well as all other changes in value of animals evident on comparing valuations at start and end of year.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm       171
The greatest difference between the table and our scheme is that apart from organic growth there are purchases. These are on a scale that indicates the considerable mobility of this form of peasant farm capital. In reality, as we will see below, livestock is one of the most mobile of the peasant farm elements that comprise its fixed capital, for it can easily be sold on the market and without great loss in price. Because of this, livestock often acquires the features of reserve capi­tal, and in good harvest years the peasants let a great number of young animals into their herds so that in poor years they may begin to sell this reserve fund.
In studying the relationship between prices of meat and fodder, Professor A. N. Chelintsev drew what is at first sight a completely paradoxical conclusion and asserted that these prices are inversely proportional, i.e., the dearer fodder, the cheaper meat. The signifi­cance of livestock as a peculiar sort of reserve capital, which we have noted, can completely dispose of this seeming incongruity. In years of good harvests and comparative well-being, peasant farms have, first, no stimulus to get rid of their young animals. Second, they use their savings to begin to increase the numbers of livestock, which may be easily kept on cheap feed. Conversely, in years when there is a dearth of fodder, and grain and hay prices are high, the farms need to sell this reserve capital, which is no longer paying for itself and which they are no longer able to maintain in such numbers. Frenzied mass selling sets in, reducing prices to an incredible level. It is well known, for example, that in the famine year of 1921 in the lower Volga area meat was cheaper than bread.
The picture of the influence of harvests on livestock sales in a meat area, such as the former Don Forces Oblast as analyzed by Professor A. N. Chelintsev in his Theoretical Basis of Peasant Farm Organiza­tion, is very interesting. We have condensed it into Table 4-37.
TABLE 4-37
Years with Average Annual Off-Farm Movement
Harvest of for Observed and Following Year
0-30 puds...........   114.1 thousand head
30-60        ...........     70.1
>60 ...........     61.7
Having thus noted the composition of the herd we can pass on to the economic turnover of livestock farming. Cattle farming can na­turally pursue six aims.
1. Selling surplus young animals as bloodstock.
2. Selling replacements and young animals for meat.
3. Selling for meat after preliminary fattening and when the young are somewhat older.
4. Working oxen and cows as draft.
5. Producing dung for manuring.
6. Dairying and selling milk.
For north Russia, a combination of aims 2, 5, and 6 is the most widespread type, with the last item mainly dominant and giving the whole activity a commodity dairying bias. More frequently, however, we have livestock farming for dung with noncommodity milk con­sumption and incidental sales of young animals that are surplus to re­placement requirements. This widespread type, combined with pig and sheep farming for own consumption, is very clearly seen from the account in Table 4-38 of an average Volokolamsk farm's commercial livestock work.
Reviewing the account gives us a clear conception of the pitiful state of livestock farming and the paltry subsistence effort, which in bookkeeping terms shows the considerable loss of 8.3 percent of turn­over. Livestock farming not only brings in almost no money income, but also requires a fair amount of additional outgoings from the farm. The labor used in this activity receives no payment.
Developed dairying in Vologda and other areas presents quite a different picture; here, it occupies a more noticeable place in both quality and quantity. It is self-evident that to achieve good results in livestock farming, one must have good techniques and be well-orga­nized, but it is also at least as important to have a market situation favorable to this sector. For example, for dairying to become profit­able in the same Volokolamsk farm it would be sufficient for the price of a vedro of milk to go up from 50 kopeks to 1 ruble. It would ex­pand and improve its techniques, as has happened in a number of villages close to the railway line, where butter-making cooperatives have developed.
The last question about stock farming, and the most important one to us, is the relationship of its size to that of field cropping. We have so far determined that stock farming starts from available feeding stuffs. But this assumption, required by our argument, is not correct or, more precisely, is a very conventional one, since on any farm the amount of feed available may be reduced or considerably forced up, given the same area. The same peasant farm may have one, two, or three head of cattle, depending on circumstances.
Since on any farm there are threshing-floor residues, kitchen waste, and hay from land that can be used only as meadow, each one has a
TABLE 4-38 Commercial Livestock Account
From Credit Account
Rubles      Rubles
To Debit Account
Capital Value of stock at start
of year
Cash Stock purchased during
Buildings Use of buildings
General Proportion of general
Workers For labor
Stocks Homegrown feeds and
Cash Purchased feeds
Cash Herdsman and veteri-
nary services
12.09 7.54
6.77 23.79
126.16 10.83
Value of stock at end
of year Stock sold during year
Home produced: Milk, 178.9 vedros Meat, 6.2 puds Hides
Wool, 9.9 Russian
pounds Dung, 1808.6 puds
Produce sold: Milk, 0.4 vedros Hides Wool
144.15 32.70
89.60 35.74 0.48
3.36 12.73
0.80 0.84 1.00
321.40 29.34
Capital Cash
* Editors' note.—Sic. Presumably this figure should be 2.64.
certain amount of fodder obtained incidentally and consisting of items hard to sell on the market. This is enough to keep, apart from draft stock, at least one cow producing essential manure. In this way, incidental produce is most advantageously converted into milk, even if only for the family's own use.
This stock and produce (dung and milk) is obtained almost free, with minimal effort, by the farm family. However, with a somewhat greater intensity the farm's resources allow enough fodder for another animal; this means looking after the mown areas, more careful har­vesting of feeding stuffs, and perhaps hiring a meadow or buying some hay. In this case, of course, the feeding stuffs will not be free, but their price cannot be very high.
The farm can, of course, still further increase the amount of feed­ing stuffs available by further developing its resources, introducing a fodder course by sowing grasses or roots, creating artificial meadows or pastures, and by buying in cohcentrates and stalling the stock. These efforts will enable it to keep a third, fourth, or perhaps even a fifth cow, provided, of course, that there are enough family work-hands to look after and milk them. This intensified feed-getting is possible if the market situation pays for the increased cost of seed for the feeding stuffs.
Subsequent Sections of the Organizational Plan
In reviewing the organization of field-cropping, draft, and commer­cial livestock farming, we have dealt rather fully with almost all the basic organizational problems of the farm's production sectors. Since it is not our task to compile a guide on farm organization, we will limit ourselves to these and will not deal with the organization of manure, the vegetable garden, orchards, incidental sectors, and so on. We will focus all our attention on those aspects in which the peculiar peasant farm features which we have established are clearly expressed. To this end, we will discuss: (a) organization of the area, (b) organiza­tion of labor, (c) organization of equipment, (d) organization of build­ings, (e) organization of capital and money circulation. These will en­able us to easily substantiate our conclusions from preceding chapters and to collect material for the subsequent ones.
In organizing peasant farms, one must almost always take account of their exceedingly poor layout. The excessive intermingling of the
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      175
peasant household's strips, their length, and the fragmentation of ara­ble and meadow frequently attain quite Homeric proportions. The fault for this lies partly with the excessively intermingled allocations made to peasant communes in the 1861 reform, and mainly with the communal egalitarian methods of repartitioning. The land was broken up into sections of equivalent quality, and a strip from each section was allocated to almost every member of the commune. We can judge what sort of land allocation was made to the communes when the peasants were liberated if only from the plan (Figures 4-14 and 4-15) of the lands held by the settlements of Kon'kovo and Niku-lin, described by P. A. Vikhlyaev in his book on Moscow guberniya agriculture. Of course, this plan shows a somewhat hypertrophied
FIGURE 4-14 Plan of Kon'kovo Village, Moscow Uezd
28.0 103.7 22.2 37.5 12.0 11.3
FIGURE 4-15 Plan of Nikulin Village, Bronnitsy Uezd
/    HOMESTEAD 1.4   
ARABLE 25.5   
land disorganization. However, even with quite a good layout of communal lands on the whole, the organization of the individual peasant household area is scarcely satisfactory in the overwhelming majority of cases.
The map (Figure 4-16) showing the land of a Volokolamsk uezd peasant may be taken as a typical example of arable strip layout where
FIGURE 4-16 Land of a Volokolamsk Uezd Peasant
there is repartitional communal land use. In a considerable number of instances, the organization of the peasant farm area is still less satis­factory. For example, there is in zemstvo statistics the case of a Ryazan' guberniya peasant household with a 4-desyatina holding fragmented into more than 200 strips.
It is essential to note, though, that such fragmentation is not re­stricted solely to communal land use; to a very considerable extent it is also met with in the old individual household land use of Western Europe. Thus, for example, Dr. Herbst,4 who studied the land use measures of 19 run-of-the-mill German farms of 50 to 60 hectares in the neighborhood of Weimar, found that only one had its land in less than five pieces. The aspects of their land use may be expressed by Table 4-39.
As the table shows, the level of land arrangement in these German farms could not be taken as a model. Such fragmentation of the land and the enormous average distance of fields from the house leave the
4 Dr. Herbst, "Guts-und Betriebsverhältnisse bauerlichen Güter," Thiels Landwirts. Jahrbuch, 1908, No. 381.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      177 TABLE 4-39
Average Distance of Distance from House Field from House       to Most Distant Piece
Number Number Number       Distance     Number
of Pieces of Farms       (Kms.)     of Farms (Kms.)       of Farms
1-4   ........ 1
5-9   ........ 9 0.5-1.0 4 0.5-5.0           13
10-14 ........ 7 1.1-2.0 9 5.1-10.0          4
15-19........ - 2.1-3.0 4 >10.0          2
>19........ 2 >3.0 2
peasant farm with all the disadvantages of a small farm as regards use of means of production, draft, and so on. At the same time, they also give it all the disadvantages of the largest farms by contributing to exceedingly high on-farm transport overheads. What this means eco­nomically may be judged from Table 4-40, which shows the increase in overheads per desyatina of oats, depending on distance from the house and the corresponding increase in journeys and repartitions.
TABLE 4-40
Cost of Work on a Desyatina of Oats by Distance
Distance of Work &? PeoPle Work &? Horses Total
Field from Working        Cost Working        Cost Cost
House Days        (Rubles) Days        (Rubles) (Rubles)
0 ............. 13.5 16.2 8.5 6.8 23.0
lOOsazhens...... 13.7 16.4 8.8 7.1 23.5
1 versta....... 15.8 18.9 10.1 8.1 27.0
2 ............. 18.6 22.3 11.9 9.5 31.8
3 ............. 21.9 26.3 13.9 11.1 37.4
4 ............. 26.1 31.3 16.1 12.8 44.1
5 ............. 33.0 39.6 19.7 15.8 55.9
6 ............. 42.3 50.0 22.3 17.9 68.7
These figures are still further increased for crops requiring much ma­nure or many cultivations, or for produce not easily transported, like roots, tubers, and fruits.
From what has been said, improved organization of the area is nearly the most essential and important agricultural measure, and land measures are one of the basic sectors of economic policy in all agrarian countries. Nevertheless, methods of land use measures and the effects resulting from them cannot concern us in this book; this is a subject for treatises on agrarian policy. On the other hand, some of the methods employed in running fragmented and distantly scattered
FIGURE 4-17 Cost of Work per Desyatina of Oats According to Distance
bits of land are of exceptional interest in learning about the nature of the labor farm.
First of all, the peasant farm establishes various methods for deal­ing with the zones which vary by distance. Frequently, they simply abandon the most distant pieces, while very distant ones are dealt with in overnight trips of a few days' duration for sowing and harvest­ing. Those slightly less remote are worked with a particular extensive, often plunderous, "outfield" rotation, and on the more accessible ones there is a correct and comparatively intensive form. However, even within the limits of the nearest areas field cultivation often shows dif­ferences both in tillage and cultivation of the plants, and mainly in the rate at which manure is applied.
This spectrum of tillage intensity determined by distance from the house makes the exploitation of any one holding extremely elastic. With the same intensity and drudgery of peasant family work, the holding will give the most varied amounts of produce. Under pres­
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      179
are spent on agriculture, including mowing and all field work as well as scutching and ^dressing the flax. A very considerable amount of working time goes on crafts, trades, and domestic work. Time devoted to festivals is indicated in the figure by stippling; and we see that it is almost the same amount as the time spent on agriculture.
sure from on-farm factors, the family may extend the more intensive forms ever farther and farther from the home. We have no doubt that work in progress on outfield rotations and the methods of running them will enrich our knowledge of the peasant farm.
the organization of labor
Having outlined the agricultural sectors and the needs for on-farm transport, we can sum up all labor expenditure on our peasant farm and review its organization. We already know that the peasant family makes far from full use of the available work time. In part this is due to the seasonal nature of agricultural work and its absence in the dead periods of the year; in part it is because when it has met its demands with a certain part of its labor effort and has reached its internal eco­nomic equilibrium, the peasant family has no further stimulus to work.
Figure 4-18 gives a very clear conception of how annual labor is distributed on a flax farm. We see that only a quarter of working days
Annual Work by Farm Sectors, Volokolamsk and Vologda Uezds
Data from Vologda allow us not only to note general work distribu­tion, but also to see separately how men and women, boys and girls work. From Figure 4-19 we see that a great part of a man's work is in
Labor Distribution by Sex and Age in Volokolamsk Uezd MEN WOMEN
2 8 88
crafts, trades, and agriculture. The woman's labor is used predomi­nantly in domestic work. In general, the woman works more than the man, but her work is not so hard.
Adolescents work fewer days than adults. The distribution of their labor by farm sectors is according to their sex; in general, boys are engaged more in agriculture and girls spend many days on domestic work.
The distribution of labor by size of holding is interesting. From the data of a Vologda study, we can construct Figure 4-20. It is interest­ing to observe that labor intensity remains the same in all groups, and an increase in land used merely causes an increase in work on the farm at the expense of crafts and trades, which are noticeably cut back. We hasten to remind the reader again that the amount of land held does not always cause such a distribution; in frequent instances, it is due to a combination of advantages derived from agricultural crops and from work in crafts and trades.
Such are the most general data from our statistics on labor organi­zation. Let us now turn to a more detailed study on our Volokolamsk farm. Here, the peasant family, together with short-term workers, has 384.53 working days on the farm, or 111.8 per worker per year, and 144.5 days if crafts, trades, and hire for agricultural work are taken into account. 27.3 working days are spent per desyatina of suitable land, and 28.2 days per 100 rubles of capital (Table 4-41). In Table
14 7
40 2
13 7
20 4
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      181 FIGURE 4-20
Labor Composition on Farms with Different Sown Areas
0-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 >5
fTvü CRAFTS 6 TRADES       gggjl TILLAGE
Editors' note.—Chayanov gave no legend, but it should pre­sumably be the same as for Fig. 4-18.
TABLE 4-41
Work by Farm Sectors in Volokolamsk Uezd (Working Days of One Full Worker)
Own and Percentage   
Short-Term Day of Farm   
Workers Laborers Total Activity   
Field-cropping, including: ..... 301.25 30.97 332.22 79.7   
Rye   ....................... 75.56 4.49 80.05 19.1   
Oats ....................... 24.08 1.60 25.68 6.2   
Flax ....................... 155.99 13.94 179.93 43.0   
Potatoes   ................... 16.57 0.50 16.97 4.3   
Clover ..................... 29.05 0.54 29.59 7.1   
Meadows ..................... 30.70 30.70 7.4   
Vegetable gardening .......... 6.00 6.00 1.4   
Horses ....................... 13.30 0.40 13.70 3.3   
Production cattle ............. 26.50 1.00 27.60 6.6   
Social work .................. 6.78 - 6.78 1.6*   
Total for farm.......... 384.53 32.37 416.90 100.0   
In addition, hired out for agri-   
cultural work .............. 21.52 21.52   
Crafts and trades ............. 87.56 - 87.56 -   
Total .................. 493.61 32.37 525.98   
Work days in year...... 1255.0 -  
* Editors' note.—Russian text has 1.69. The total then does not sum to 100.0.
Spent on Own Farm of One Worker
On Own Farm and on Side Workdays per Desyatina of Arable on Field Cropping   
Volokolamsk .... ......       111.8 144.6 36.6   
Gzhatsk  ........ .....        70.7 35.9 43.2   
Porech'e ........ .....       120.1 122.2 38.8   
Sychevka   ....... ......        80.1 103.8 24.8   
Dorogobuzh   .... ......        94.7 130.8 39.5  
Workdays Expended by Worker on Own Farm and on Side
Such is the organization of labor on peasant farms in the U.S.S.R.
80.1 8   
Leaving aside the transport equipment absolutely essential for the farm—the cart and sleigh—all other agricultural implements and ma­chines now widely used in agriculture could be replaced by manual work with simple implements such as mattocks and spades. Therefore, in speaking of agricultural machines and implements we should pri­marily establish why and in what circumstances they are advantageous and are used.
As is well known, there are two reasons for using machines: (1) they greatly economize on labor and thereby reduce the cost of work; (2) they permit a better quality of work and thereby increase farm income. Let us look at both of these aspects.
The following account of labor expenditure for extensive winter sowing without dunging, made by Ivan Lopatin, can very clearly demonstrate how much labor expenditure is reduced by using machines.
4-42, we compare the Volokolamsk figures with those from other flax-growing areas (see Figure 4-21 also).
TABLE 4-42
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      183 Manual Work
1. Tillage to a depth of about 4 inches with sokha or one-horse plow...... 2
2. Harrowing arable 3 times after tillage ............................... %
3. Second tillage to the former depth with same implements.............. 2
4. Harrowing twice after second tillage ................................. x/&
5. Sowing seed by hand ) 2
6. Working in seed with sokha J
7. Harrowing 3 times after working in ................................. %
8. Harvesting the grain with sickle, binding sheaves, and stacking........ 6
9. Carting 10 stacks from field to threshing floor and ricking with an average distance of 1 versta or 10 runs per stack....................... 1
10. Threshing 10 stacks with flails....................................... 6
11. Winnowing 50 puds of grain with spades............................. 2
12. Sorting 10 puds of seed on the riddle ................................ 1
Total   ....................................................... 23
1. Tillage to a depth of about 7 inches with a two-horse plow............ 2
2. Harrowing after tillage ............................................. 0.5
3. Second tillage to a depth of not more than 4 inches with a multifurrow
or horse cultivator.................................................. 0.7
4. Harrowing after good cultivation not required
5. Supposed cultivation of arable by cultivator and light harrow.......... 0.7
6. Drilling in seed .................................................... 0.3
7. Harrowing not required
8. Harvesting with reaper-binder ...................................... 0.3
9. Carting 20 stacks with a cart carrying 4 at a time, 5 journeys.......... 0.5
10. Threshing 20 stacks with a steam thresher ........................... 2.0
11. Separation of the grain is carried out by the same machine
12. Sorting out seed
Total   ....................................................... 7.0
In making this comparison, however, it is essential to bear in mind that the economy in labor expenditure is not of itself the decisive fac­tor, since it is accompanied by an increased amount spent on amorti­zation and upkeep of the machines. In determining the cost of ma­chine work, we ought to take both elements into account. (See Figure 4-22.)
In agricultural economics courses and in specialized works, various authors have given different formulas for estimating this cost. For ex­ample, Professor V. G. Bazhaev, in his agricultural economics course,5 gives this formula to calculate the cost of a working day for an agri­cultural machine:
e + B
where x is the cost of the working day for the machine; a, the daily
5 Summary of the agricultural economics course given by Professor V. G. Bazhaev in 1903-4 in the Kiev Polytechnical Institute (3d ed.; Kiev, 1913), p. 128.
Labor Expenditure with Manual Work and Machine Work
2.0 0 8
cost of workers on foot, tending the machine; b, the daily cost of mounted workers attending machine; c, the cost of grease; d, the cost of fuel (if the machine has an engine); e, the annual deduction for re­pairs and amortization; B, interest on the capital spent in purchasing the machine; m, the number of machine workdays in the year.
Other authors also give similar formulas, but in a somewhat differ­ent form. For example, in his course6 one of my predecessors in the department, K. A. Werner, professor of the Petrovskii Academy, de­vised the following formula to calculate the cost of one machine working day:
where p = 4.5 percent of the annual payments of capital spent on the machine + interest to cover repairs and insurance in the year; m = days of actual work by the machine; x = the cost of a day's fuel and grease; y = the cost of manual labor with the machine for a day; z = the cost of a day's draft work with the machine, moving it or bringing supplies.
The formula we have proposed on the basis of work by the French economist Fr. Be<:u has a somewhat different content. As distinct from the formulas of V. Bazhaev and K. Werner, it is primarily based, not on the machine workday, but on the unit of machine production (desyatina of land, 100 puds of threshed grain, etc.). Afterward, figures
6 K. A. Werner, Sel'skokhozyaistvennaya ekonomiya [The Agricultural Economy], M., 1901 g.
w=- + (x+y + z),
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      185
are added to express the improvement or deterioration resulting from machine work compared with manual work.
A represents annual expenditure on the machine, whether it works or not, i.e., outlays on amortization, interest on capital invested in the machine, and insurance premiums. B represents the expenses of run­ning the machine per machine workday, i.e., wages of workers on the machine, cost of draft, grease, and repair. Then, the cost of one ma­chine workday may be expressed:
x=— + B, n
where n is the number of days in the year on which the machine worked. It is clear from the formula that the cost of one machine workday should decrease as n increases—in other words, the more the machine is used.
In order to learn the cost of machine work per desyatina, one must divide the day's work figure by the number of desyatinas with which the machine deals in a day. If the machine's daily productivity is k desyatinas, the cost of machine work per desyatina will be:
A     B y ~~ n-k     k'
Since the machine frequently carries out only part of the work, leaving the rest to hand labor (for instance, reapers require hand binding of the sheaves), if the cost of this handwork per desyatina is C we obtain the final expression of the cost of machine work per desyatina:
A      B    c
If we now indicate the cost of manual work per desyatina as R, we can say that it is advantageous to replace manual work by the machine if
R8^ + f + C. Let us try to fathom out the conditions needed for such an in­equality. On the left hand side of the inequality, A, B, C, and k de­pend on the cost and quality of the machine and on the wage level; they are fairly stable and constant. The figure most liable to fluctuate is n, i.e., the number of days on which the machine can be used. This figure depends on the area the farm has, and in our formula n-k = S is the direct expression of this determining area. With a decline in the area used (S), outlays on amortization and interest on capital (A) fall
on a smaller number of desyatinas; thus the cost of machine work can rise considerably and exceed the usual cost of manual work.
In order to determine the marginal size of area at which machine work is possible—i.e., when cost of machine work equals that of man­ual work—we should put the figure we seek in our formula as S and write the following equation:
Obviously, if the area actually exploited is greater than this, machine costs less than manual work; if lower than this, it costs more.
We will explain our theoretical reckoning with a specific example— the work of a mowing machine. Let us suppose that its output is 3.5 desyatinas a day and cost is 200 rubles; then the basic elements of our formula are compounded as follows:
4% on capital ................   8 rubles
Amortization (over 10 years) ... 20
Total A ................ 28 rubles
Worker's wages ...............   1 ruble
Cost of draft (2 horses)........   1 50 kopeks
Grease and repairs............   1
Total B ................   3 rubles 50 kopeks
C is zero, since the mowing is entirely carried out by machine. Three mowers are required for hand mowing a desyatina a day. If we pay them a ruble a day, the cost of hand mowing is three rubles.
Let us suppose that our farm has 70 desyatinas of meadow. Then, according to our formula, the cost of machine harvesting one desya­tina is:
+ ^tf~ = 1 ruble 40 kopeks. 70     3.5
Thus, with 70 desyatinas of meadow mechanical harvesting is more than twice as advantageous as manual.
Let us try to determine in accordance with our formula the mini­mal area at which the mowing machine can be economically used. We have:
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      187
= 14 desyatinas.
3.50 3.5
Thus, mechanized mowing is possible only on farms with not less than 14 desyatinas of meadow. For example, let us take a farm with 7 desya­tinas of meadow. The cost of mechanized mowing for a desyatina of meadow will be:
i.e., two rubles dearer than harvesting by hand.
In all our preceding constructs and reckonings, we have assumed that the quality of the work carried out by machine remains the same as that done by hand. However, this is not so in reality. We know that, apart from saving labor, by using a seed drill we economize seed, sav­ing 6-8 puds per desyatina. In addition, sowing in rows increases the yield of grains. We also know that when threshing is speeded by using a machine a smaller amount of grain is eaten by mice, but the straw from the threshing machine is poorer than that from the flail. We also know that using Walcour and Randell harrows not only speeds the work but also raises yields, and so on.
Obviously, we should introduce into our formula a factor for quali­tative effect, expressing it, of course, in rubles. Taking the improve­ment (or deterioration) of work with mechanization as M rubles a desyatina, the cost of machine compared with manual work will be expressed as
hence the marginal area that justifies the use of machinery is
For a number of machines (seed drills, Randell harrows, etc.), the area calculated in this way will be smaller than that when quality is not taken into account.
Such is the theory of machine use in agriculture. The well-known fact that machines are used less as farm size decreases is explained by these circumstances. Reckoning for his three-field farm, Ivan Lopatin gives the sequence in Table 4-43 for the rational introduction of individual agricultural machines and implements as size of arable increases.
s =
TABLE 4-43
Size of Arable Put to Use
2 desyatinas...... Plow
10   ............... Hand-operated winnowing machine
15   ............... Threshing machine, horse rake
20   ............... Harvesting machine
22   ............... Drill, sorter
30   ............... Surface plow
50   ............... One-horse thresher
70   ............... Two-horse thresher
400  ............... Steam thresher
Since machines are thus gradually put to use, the cost of machines per desyatina and, consequently, their amortization will be insignifi­cant on small farms. (See Figure 4-23.) It will increase as they do more and reach a maximum at 50 desyatinas, when drills are put to use.7 After this, as machines are increasingly used, it will fall, and when they are fully used it will thereafter remain constant.
In fact, agricultural machines are distributed among farms, just as our theory has indicated. For example, in Germany the percentage of all farms using machines, according to the 1907 census, was as shown in Table 4-44.
However, it is essential to point out that the formula given above is a law that applies only to capitalistically organized undertakings. The ideas at the basis of labor farm organization very frequently introduce substantial corrections. Thus, at the present time in south­ern Russia reapers, and even reaper-binders, have become widespread
FIGURE 4-23 Machines Put to Use by Size of Arable
z *
1 *
< LU
o o
z x
£ o
O z
z <
7 UJ
— I uj'
I U o£
O < I
S 1
ll I 1 II
(n i—     _i l" to
II- IÜ     LO o »-
10 15 20 22   30 50 70
7 Editors' note.—According to Figure 4-23, drills are put to use at 22 desyatinas.
The Organizational Plan of the Peasant Farm      189
TABLE 4-44 Farm Size and Agricultural Machines
of Farms Using
Farm Size Machines
0-  0.5 hectares........... 0.9
0.5-  2.0................... 8.9
2.0-  5.0................... 32.4
5.0- 20.0 ................... 72.5
20.0-100.0 ................... 92.0
> 100.0 ................... 97.5
on the peasant farm, and are used on areas so small that, according to our formula, their work cannot be advantageous. We must in this instance, therefore, seek the cause for their being widely used, not in the advantage to be derived from them, but in the peculiar features of the labor farm.
One task that distinguishes the labor farm from the capitalistically organized farm is its attempt to distribute its labor as equally as pos­sible over time. Therefore, peasant farms usually suffer excessively from the irregularities in labor organization over time that are char­acteristic for many crops. The harvest period, with its maximum labor intensity, thus determines the area to be exploited. If the ripe wheat can stand without shedding, let us say one and a half weeks, obviously the size of the peasant farm's sown area will be what the family can harvest in the course of this week and a half.
This constraint on the area to be exploited has a very bad effect on other periods of the year when the family cannot use its full labor force on the restricted area and suffers from a surplus of free labor without work. Aiming to expand the worked area, the peasants of southern Russia sometimes sow wheat varieties that can stand for a long time without shedding (Beloturka, for instance). By sowing Beloturka instead of other, more advantageous varieties, the peasant farm reduces its net rate of income per desyatina, but it can expand its land use and thus increase its gross income.
The use of harvesting machines on small areas where they cannot pay for themselves means the same thing. For example, according to zemstvo statistical data for Starobel'sk uezd, Khar'kov guberniya,8 4.3 working days are spent in harvesting one desyatina.
Let us suppose that we have a family with two workers and that the possible harvesting period is 10 days; then the maximum area the
8 Materialy dlya otsenki zemeV Khar'kovskoi gubernii, vyp. Ill [Materials for evalu­ating the lands of Khar'kov guberniya, fasc. Ill], Khar'kov, 1907 g.

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