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The spring day will feed you for a year and the summer one will crunch numbers



In the Southern regions of Russia the spring sowing is underway. The agrarians of the Chelyabinsk region are going to start the sowing campaign. This spring they should sow 1 million 856 thousand hectares of arable land (21 thousand hectares more than the previous year).

According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia the spring sowing was carried out on an area of 3.7 million hectares that is 1.4 million hectares more than previous year and 7% more than it was expected.  

Sowing, which starts the season of field agricultural operations from year to year, from century to century, has a peculiar significance this year. Many data on this year sowing will be entered to the history of the Russian agriculture. This year from July 1 to August 15 and in the stranded and remote areas from September 15 to November 15 the All-Russian Agricultural Census will be carried out. All the agricultural entities of Russia from agricultural holdings to the private farms will be enumerated. Census program is an extensive one: to conduct a smart agricultural policy in the future we need to obtain the data on categories of the households, types of their economic activity, human resources, land resources and their use, the areas of the crops and perennial plantings, livestock inventory, production infrastructure of households and so on. The data acquired this year will become the basis of formation of official statistic information on the state and structure of the agriculture, availability and use of its resource potential for years to come.

However, the answers to the questions about what kind of land resources are in possession of the Russian agriculture, how they are used, what is sown by rural people, what harvest they reap were necessary for the Russian people hundreds years ago too. It was in 1916 when in Russian empire the first agricultural census was conducted. That time 76 provinces representing the most part of the territory of Russia were enumerated. 19.2 million of separate households with the population of 104.4 million people were registered in those provinces. In the Chelyabinsk province, which included Chelyabinsk, Troitsk and Verkhneuralsk districts there were 213.3 thousand households with the population of 1 million 96.5 thousand people.

Of the total crop acres of the Russian empire 64.3% were occupied by food crops, 31.6% - forage crops, 3.5% - oil crops and 0.6 – other crops. About 52% of crops were occupied by rye and wheat and more than 29% - by oats and barley. The cattle stock in Russia totaled 55.8 million of heads of which 44% fell on cows.

The questions of the 2016 Census, of course, will be more targeted. For the first time the farmers will be asked about application of advanced methods of farming, biological methods of protecting plants against pests and diseases, drip irrigation system, availability of the waste treatment facilities on livestock farms and the use of renewable energy sources. The peculiarities of agricultural production will become known not only at the level of regions, but at the level of municipal entities. The comparison with the data of the last census held in 2006 and other statistic information let us assess even the reaction of agricultural producers to the change of ecological environment, track the progress of agricultural territory boundaries to the north because of the impact of global warming. Experts believe that in the conditions of climate change the importance of agro-ecological monitoring and statistic measurements in agriculture increases steadily, and regular conduction of agricultural censuses is of key importance.

In total it is planned to enumerate more than 50 thousand agricultural organizations, 167 farm households, 55 thousand of individual entrepreneurs, 22 million of personal part-time farms and other individual households of citizens, 80 fruit growing, vegetable growing and cottage non-commercial entities where more than 14 million of land plots of citizens are located.

In the Chelyabinsk region 375 agricultural organizations, 4880 farm households and individual entrepreneurs, 297.7 thousand of personal part-time farms and other individual households of the citizens of rural and urban area, 855 fruit growing, vegetable growing and cottage non-commercial entities, which include more than 30 thousand of land plots of the citizens, are subject to the census.