Seasonal Production

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Seasonal Production


the uneven, season-related output of a product during the year, manifested in an increase, decline, or complete halt of production during particular periods of the year. Seasonality is characteristic of a number of branches of industry, including the meat, dairy, fish, food, and lumber industries, as well as construction and agriculture.

Although seasonal production stems from climatic conditions, it depends, to a decisive degree, on the method of production. As technology and transportation links develop, the feasibility of overcoming seasonal production increases. In the capitalist countries chronic underemployment of production capacities is manifested in seasonal production. In prerevolutionary Russia the majority of the branches of industry were seasonal. Under socialism, seasonal production is effectively controlled. For example, in the USSR, light industry produces diverse products depending on the season, but light industrial enterprises operate on a year-round basis. Seasonal production is being reduced in the Soviet food industry (sugar refining, canning, oil and fat production and wine-making, for example). In addition to the traditional summer assortment of products, the vegetable and fruit canning industry produces canned foodstuffs and flavorings and other semifinished products from fruits and vegetables stored during the winter and autumn. It has thus been possible to organize year-round operation of the canneries and to lower the prime cost of production. There is virtually no seasonality in the baking, confectionery, macaroni, and other branches of the food industry that use industrially processed raw materials. In the sugar industry seasonal production is related to the methods of storing the sugar beet. Extending the processing period results in increased losses in sugar content. Seasonality has been reduced by processing unrefined cane sugar imported from Cuba and by using frozen beets in some areas. In particular branches of the food industry seasonal production is due to uneven consumption of the finished product (nonalcoholic beverages, mineral water, beer, and ice cream). In the salt and fishing industries, as well as in fish processing, climatic conditions result in seasonal production, which declines with improvements in transportation and production equipment. Seasonality is being reduced in construction, the lumber industry, and other branches of industry.

Controlling seasonal production makes it possible to increase product output and make fuller use of labor resources and fixed assets.


In agriculture, seasonal production is caused by the dependency of the production cycle on periods of the year (seasons), owing to the biological characteristics of cultivated plants and agricultural animals. The amount of labor required for agricultural jobs varies with the season, giving rise to a variable demand for labor power. Seasonal production is most characteristic of the land-cultivation sectors, in which the seasons are winter, spring sowing, tending the plants and haying, harvesting cereal crops, harvesting late agricultural crops, and autumn plowing.

Seasonality is less marked in livestock raising, which has two seasons, winter and summer. It is possible to regulate certain biological processes, such as breeding and the growth and development of animals. It is also possible to organize the maintenance of large groups of livestock and poultry in one place, according to their sex, age, and economic purpose, and to create the conditions for the simultaneous (parallel) performance of jobs related to tending the animals and obtaining livestock products.

In Soviet agriculture seasonal production is being reduced by rationally combining sectors, by integrating production, by mechanizing labor intensive jobs, by creating agroindustrial associations, and by organizing the production of products on an industrial basis.


Likvidatsiia sezonnosti proizvodstva na konservnykh i ovoshchesushil’nykh predpriiatiiakh. Moscow, 1963.
Sudakevich, S. A. Osobennosti planirovaniia i ucheta na predpriiatiiakh konservnoi promyshlennosti v novykh usloviiakh raboty. Moscow, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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