Agriculture in 1938 and 1939
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The legacy of the record grain harvest of 1937 was complex. It increased the grain stocks held on farms and within rural households, and boosted the livestock sector, particularly livestock in private hands, to the benefit of the household activities of collective farmers. To the extent that food became more available, consumers gained in both the countryside and the towns. Because it was unexpected, and because the state was unprepared to capture the benefits for itself, the episode damaged Stalin’s trust in the agricultural officials. The state now struggled to regain control over grain surpluses; this struggle continued through the last prewar years and led to increased restriction of private farming activities.