Kuznetsov I. A. Russia’s harvest statistics in the first half of the 19th century: The problem of primary data // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №3. P. 35-54.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-3-35-54


The author reports the discovery in the regional archives of the primary documents and uyezd data compiled for the governors’ harvest statistics in the first half of the 19th century, although historiography used to question or deny their existence. According to the archival data, the primary information about harvest in estates and villages was collected annually in autumn. This information was provided by the elders of peasant communities and the managers of landlords’ estates. Since the end of the 18th century, information was collected by the officials of the Lower Zemstvo Court: they either wrote it down from what their informants told or collected the already prepared notes. The final report on the uyezd harvest was compiled by the secretary of the Lower Zemstvo Court and sent to the Governor’s Office. The Governor’s Office compiled a similar record for the province, in which the uyezd data was duplicated and summarized. Provincial reports on sowing and harvest were sent to the government (Ministry of Internal Affairs and/or Ministry of Police) as urgent messages in November. The collection of harvest data was not related to the governors’ annual reports which duplicated the previously sent information. The discovered documents do not solve the problem of reliability and representativeness of the governors’ crop statistics but correct the historiographic ideas about the functions of the imperial administration in the field of control over harvests and food security in the Russian regions.


Agrarian history of Russia, crop statistics, governors’ reports, Lower Zemstvo Court (nizhny zemsky sud), Victor Yatsunsky, Boris Litvak.

About the author

Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Kuznetsov I.A. Stolypin agrarian reform and agricultural productivity of European Russia in the late 19th — early 20th century // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №3. P. 42-78.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-3-42-78


The author considers the links between measures of the Stolypin agrarian reform and indicators of the Russian agricultural development based on various statistical data: statistics of yields (Central Statistical Committee), statistics of grain prices and land management (Main Directorate of Land Management and Agriculture), data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on peasant exits from the community, data from the survey of farms and allotments conducted by the GUZiZ in 1913. The author also uses data on the income from non-grain crops and animal husbandry, and on the cost of commercial outputs per unit of agricultural land on the eve of the First World War. Based on the analysis of statistics, the author refutes the idea that agriculture had passed the peak of progressive shifts before the reform and that the growth of agricultural production slowed down under the reform. The author reveals mistakes in the 1913 survey of yields, which makes its data invalid for studying the ratio of yields by farm type; uses the moving average method to smooth out annual fluctuations in the CSC statistics of yields; compares the indicators of the best five years before the reform with the indicators of the best five years of the reform to minimize the influence of weather fluctuations on the measurement of the grain production dynamics; calculates the shifts in yields of major crops; with the correlation analysis, identifies the relationship between shifts in yields and productivity for the selected periods under the Stolypin reform in 47 provinces of European Russia; studies the links of the reform with other indicators of the agrarian development; proves the significant positive links (mainly of medium strength and weak) between the peasant activity in the individualization of land tenure (exits from the community) and land use (farms on the allotments) under the reform, and the negative links between economic indicators and the development of group land management within the communal land tenure. Thus, the author insists that the previous historiographic statements about the absence of links between the reform and yields, and about the negative links between the registration of peasant land ownership and the increase in yields on allotments were not confirmed. 


Stolypin agrarian reform, agrarian history of Russia, agricultural statistics, productivity, land management, peasant community.

About the author

Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571 Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

Hard copies of the journal can be purchased at the Delo e-store or by subscription in the "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index - Т81017).

Friends and Partners

Rosa Luxemburg foundation
was a partner of Russian Peasant Studies before it was removed from list of approved foundation in 2022


Here you can make free subscription to mailing list of our Journal.
Subscription allows to receive letters with links to download latest Volume and articles in PDF.