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Agricultural Productivity in History

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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-23-07 01:02 PM
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Agricultural Productivity in History
And let no one tell us about the American "head start." That shoe in on the other foot: in 1900 Russian agriculture was more productive than American agriculture.

Does anyone have any data that conflicts with or supports that claim?

Note: the claim is from pp 188-189 of the English translation of the book The Totalitarian Temptation.

There's a thread about it in the "Books, Non-Fiction" forum here on DU.

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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-23-07 07:40 PM
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1. It depends
But prior to 1900 both the US and Russia were not mechanized. Prior to that, productivity was often a value of the land quality which given the Ukraine was extremely favorable to Russia. In the US, there was extremely favorable land for non-mechanized agriculture in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio which generated much higher yields than out in Kansas.

Beginning shortly after 1900, though I think probably not really starting until about 1915 or so, the US agriculture started mechanizing which increased the possible yields out in Kansas, etc. Note: By mechanization, I'm talking not only tractors, but also pumps (water) and transport.

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