The latest Soviet five-year plan for agriculture seems headed for the same fate as its 10 predecessors -- failure. At least, that's what US Department of Agriculture experts are predicting. Last year the Soviets produced 189 million metric tons of grain on their 315 million acres -- an average of 25 bushels per acre. The US, meanwhile, averaged 70 bushels.
The Soviets plan to invest more in private-sector agriculture, which in 1979 controlled only 1.4 percent of farmland but produced 30 percent of the country's meat and milk, 36 percent of its eggs, 54 percent of its fruits and berries, and 60 of its potatoes.
Even so, the US experts predict the Soviet Union will remain a major net importer of food. m