Thus, in 20 years, yields grew 4 times faster than the population of the Azov army.
Thus, in 20 years, yields grew 4 times faster than the population of the Azov army.
At the time of liquidation, the Azov Cossack army had 92,679 rubles 10? pennies. This amount is almost the same as the annual expenditure of the state on all 12 Cossack troops of the Empire.
The availability of land, production conditions, forms and methods of management, achievements in agriculture and other sectors of the economy give grounds to speak both about the profitable nature of Cossack farms and about a certain level of welfare of the Azovs. Materially, the army justified its existence and did not require full state support. Azov was able to repay all loans provided by the state. The level of management allowed to do it in time and in full. Loans to the state were repaid from military profits, to which the Cossacks made a significant contribution, their hard work. In the last two decades of its existence in the South of Ukraine, the Cossack formation completely switched to full self-sufficiency and did not burden the state treasury with requests to provide material assistance.
The well-being of the Azov Cossack farms could not but contrast with the situation of the surrounding serfs. And if we take into account the fact that among the Azovs there were many former serfs who successfully got rid of personal and economic dependence on landlords, it becomes clear the desire of serfs to join the Azovs and dissatisfaction of landlords with the existence of the Cossack formation in the region.
The example of the Azov Cossacks in management is still worthy of imitation. After all, the Azovs in the 30 years of their existence in the Azov region managed to do what no collective farm has managed to achieve in the 72 years of Soviet rule.
Speaking of the economic success of the Azov Cossacks, we must pay attention to their careful attitude to the land. It became the main wealth of the Cossacks. That’s why they did everything possible to turn the Berdyansk wasteland into a well-groomed territory. They planted forest belts, gardens, shrubs to prevent the formation of a ravine or ditch (plantations helped to retain moisture in the soil and prevent their erosion), monitored sources of drinking water, cared for artificial reservoirs and riverbeds.
To obtain good yields, the Azovs used mainly a two-field tillage system. The Cossacks divided their allotments into 2 parts: the first was set aside for crops, the second – for pastures or toloku. Land used for grazing or cattle grazing was not plowed for 2-3 years. This allowed with the help of the same cattle to get rid of weeds and fertilize the soil well with organic matter. After this period, high-grade wheat or flax was sown on the plot, which was also in great demand in the domestic and foreign markets.
The land, which rested for 2-3 years and was well fertilized, taking into account crop rotation, made it possible to grow high yields for the next 3-5 years. The field set aside for crops, in turn, was divided into two parts. One part was set aside for winter, the other – for spring. The Azov Cossacks carefully observed crop rotations. Flax or wheat was sown on the part that used to be under threshing floor or pasture, sown with rye the following year, and other grains, such as oats, barley, and millet, on the third year. The number of crops depended on the number of workers, the number of livestock and the position of the site relative to the convenience of selling grain.
In the 1930s, 33.8% of all military land (20,000 out of 59,022 tithes) was allocated for grain crops in the Azov Army. Gradually the sown area under grain increases. As the sown area increases, so does the amount of grain harvested.
Since the late 30s of the XIX century within the military lands there is a noticeable tendency to spread intensive farming, where with the reduction of sown areas, yields gradually increase.
The reasons for the increase in yields with a decrease in sown areas were:
1) application of a two-field system of land cultivation; 2) use of natural fertilizers; 3) adherence to a clear crop rotation; 4) application of the basics of agricultural technology and more.
It is due to such factors that the Azov Cossack formation had a steady tendency to increase yields.
From year to year, the best Cossacks chose the best grain for sowing. Before mowing, «islands» of plants with selected high-quality grain were found among the fields. It was collected, dried, stored in appropriate conditions, and sown in the spring after the Feast of the Annunciation. As a result, wheat grown on military lands was highly valued. And above all, yellow-ears and black-ears Bulgarian with blue spines, brought by the Cossacks from across the Danube. There were more than 20,000 acres under these varieties. It was grown mainly on chernozem and sandy soils in the villages of Petrovska and Novospaska. Bulgarian wheat was twice as expensive as conventional varieties.
No wonder the army presented at the World Exhibition of Agricultural and Industrial Products, which took place in London in 1851, the varieties of Bulgarian wheat, for which the London Royal Commission awarded Azov medals of the 2nd degree. Analysis of documents from the offices of the Governor-General of Novorossiysk and Bessarabia shows that the harvest in the Azov army is slightly higher than in the best farms of German colonists, where from 1848 to 1858 the harvest of winter bread reached sam-5, and spring to sam-7.
In the Azov Cossack army in the 50’s the average harvest was kept: winter – about sam-5? with destinies and spring – about sam-8? with shares. We have the opportunity to compare the population growth and grain yield of the Azov Cossack army within the Ekaterinoslav province. In 1838 the population of the army was 0.8% of the total population of the province and grew 0.4% of all grain in Ekaterinoslav. Twenty years later, in 1857-1858, the Azovs made up 1% of the province’s population and grew 1.2% of grain. Thus, in 20 years, yields grew 4 times faster than the population of the Azov army.
Azov lands received twice less than the statutory amount. Over time, it turned out that for a skilled owner is enough and half a share to make a profit. Within the military lands, the lease of land for various types of agricultural work was widespread. The proximity of Berdyansk and Mariupol ports raised land prices and stimulated the development of commodity production on the lands of the Azov Cossack army.
The lease of military lands was a profitable business for the army, for the villages, and for the Azovs themselves. Officer and Cossack families constantly leased land plots because they could not cultivate the land provided to them for use due to a three-year absence on the eastern shore of the Black Sea. They had considerable money from the lease of fixed-term plots. After all, the rent of each tithe in the 50s of the XIX century gave a profit of up to 3 rubles in silver annually. The main thing in the case of the lease was to properly compile the conditions, which would discuss in detail the rights and obligations of each party.
The military chancellery constantly monitored compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease. Any violations were punishable by a fine compensating for damages. On the positive side, the leased land was not plowed, but was used mainly for pastures and clearings. Yes, the land rested for the term of the lease, and later gave birth well. Lease of land within the Azov army was beneficial not only for the Cossacks, but also for the tenants themselves, who did not spare 100 rubles in silver to pay for the right to participate in the auction.
Given the significant demand for bread in domestic and foreign markets, the Azovs refused to grow vegetables in their fields in full, and the required number of vegetables for consumption and harvesting for the winter were purchased at Sunday markets and seasonal fairs. They sowed their land only with cereals, which were in great demand. The cost of buying vegetables was insignificant compared to the amount of profit from the grain sold.
The respectful attitude of the Azov people to the land is pleasantly impressive. After all, they were not landowners. It was owned by the Azov Cossack Army. In relation to the army, the Azovs were only land users. At the same time, it should be noted that the Cossacks tried to use every opportunity to secure the plot of land provided during the first distribution, and later to become its full owner. The first step in achieving this goal was to obtain a plot of land for the farm. Farms were allowed to be established in the village yurt, but only where they could not interfere with public land use and only with the consent of the village community. The Azovs, having received a plot of land for a hamlet, tried to plant it as soon as possible or to build a dam, a mill. Such aspirations of the Azov Cossacks iwriteessays testimonials have an explanation.
According to the existing legislative tradition in the South of Ukraine, the land was secured for life by the owners of factory and factory enterprises, water mills, dams, orchards or forest belts. In order to have more arguments for securing the land for life, the Azovs tried to build a dam and a mill on the farms at the same time, and to plant fruit trees or forest belts nearby.
Such, for example, was the farm of Alexander Sergeyev. He built a dam, a solid mill, a garden of 150 fruit trees and planted 1,000 sedges and willows over the dam on the 15 acres of land allotted to the Cossack for the hamlet. Farms of Azov officers amazed contemporaries with large orchards, a large number of forest belts, windmills and mills. The property of such farms was valued at least 3,000 rubles in silver.
Due to the small number of military lands, the Azovs were forced to constantly regulate the number of livestock. Therefore, they used in their farms those breeds of animals that could fully perform various functions. At the same time, the farms of the Azovs were well supplied with cattle and one family had 4 oxen, 2 cows with heifers, 6 sheep and one horse. Really good figure by today’s standards!
To meet, mainly, their own needs, the Cossacks of the Azov army engaged in various trades. One of the most developed was the traditional fishing. Since the shore of the Sea of Azov was considered an integral part of military property, it was given in alimony to increase the profits of the Cossack formation.