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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Russian, zvenp), in the agriculture of the USSR a numerically small, primary labor group included within a production brigade, division, production sector, farm, or workshop, which on the basis of cooperation and division of labor carries out basic types of work in an assigned sector.

Teams first originated at the beginning of the 1930’s in the cultivation of labor-intensive crops, such as sugar beets and vegetables. Particular renown was attained during those years by the sugar-beet teams known as the five-hundreders’ movement, which grew 500 or more centners of sugar beets on each hectare. The initiators of this movement included the well-known sugar-beet growers Mariia Demchenko and Marina Gnatenko. Such teams, numbering ten to 12 persons each, were handling 5–6 hectares of sown sugar beets. With the introduction in the kolkhozes and sovkhozes of improved equipment and more efficient technology, there was a qualitative change in the composition of brigades and divisions, which meant changes in teams as well. The team assists in eliminating depersonalization, and it increases the responsibility and the material interest of the team members in improving their production results.

The composition of the teams and the selection of their leaders is confirmed by the kolkhoz board (or sovkhoz management) upon the suggestions of the brigade leader (manager or head of the production sector, farm, or work-shop). A team leader works alongside the other members of the team and also organizes their work: he assigns the members and checks up on the fulfillment of the day’s schedule, the output norms (quotas), and the quality of the work. For his leadership he receives a supplementary wage within established pay scales. The team leader is directly responsible to the brigade leader (manager or the like). The team arranges its work on the basis of the production tasks and the technological charts.

In plant growing there is a predominance of mechanized teams, composed primarily of mechanics and machine operators. The work of mechanized teams is structured on the principles of profit-and-loss accounting: they are assigned land, allocated the necessary equipment, and given the production schedules drawn up for them, schedules based on profit-and-loss accounting. Wages earned by team members are paid in accord with the quantity and quality of their production.

Mechanized teams are subdivided into two principal types:

(1) Teams of the first type cultivate one, or rarely two, crops with varying periods of work and a relatively similar technology, on sections of land set aside for the duration of the cultivation of these crops. In practice these teams are usually termed “specialized” (sugar-beet, corn, potato, flax, or vegetable teams).

(2) Teams of the second type cultivate an assortment of field crops on fields that have been assigned to them for lengthy periods of time; they carry out a complete crop rotation, or a part of it. Such teams are often termed “complex, universal, or enlarged.”

Depending on the specific conditions in kolkhozes and sovkhozes, mechanized teams vary as to the size of the area to be farmed, the number of mechanics and machine operators, and the assortment of available equipment. Such mechanized teams may cultivate one or several farm crops.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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