The Effect of Weather on Soviet Wheat Production

by R. Robert Rapp


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To estimate the effect of climate on Soviet wheat production, this study devises formulas that calculate variability of wheat production in three major areas: Southwest Ukraine, South Ukraine, and Kazakhstan-West Siberia. Weather conditions in these three areas have a major influence on the total production of wheat in the USSR. Wheat grows best in Southwest Ukraine when it experiences a cool fall, a moderate winter, and a warm spring with normal moisture. Wheat grows best in South Ukraine when the winters are warm and when it is cool and dry in June. In Kazakhstan and West Siberia, abundant crops of spring wheat depend on good rainfall in late spring and early summer. It is concluded that if no major changes in weather patterns occur, the Soviet Union will experience adverse weather, and lower wheat production, in at least one year out of every four. The weather in one year in twenty will cause disastrously low production of wheat.

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