Privatizing Collective Farms in Russia.  NY Times reports on the potential for expansion of agricultural output in Russia.  "A decade after capitalism transformed Russian industry, an agricultural revolution is stirring the countryside, shaking up village life and sweeping aside the collective farms that resisted earlier reform efforts and remain the dominant form of agriculture....Today, roughly 7 percent of the planet’s arable land is either owned by the Russian state or by collective farms, but about a sixth of all that agricultural land — some 35 million hectares — lies fallow....Russia also has millions of acres of untouched, pristine land that could be used for agriculture....Yields in Russia, however, are tiny. The average Russian grain yield is 1.85 tons a hectare — compared with 6.36 tons a hectare in the United States and 3.04 in Canada. (A hectare is about two and a half acres.)"

posted August 31, 2008 at 8:00 a.m.