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The poor showing by Soviet farm collectives is leading the Communist Party to make changes in at least one Soviet republic, according to exile sources. Owners of small private farm plots in the once-independent Baltic state of Latvia have been allowed in some cases to form "associations," a novel Soviet experiment.

An article by Latvian exile Atis Lejins in a Swedish foreign affairs periodical describes a mounting agricultural crisis in the Baltic st ates. He based his analysis mainly on Soviet Latvian press reports. He says rural families are being encouraged to acquire private plots, and collectives are being told to help them in order to increase yields.

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Before World War II, the independent Baltic states were food exporters to Britain and Germany. Today there are grave shortages of meat, vegetables, and milk. Butter, says Lejins, has disappeared altogether.m

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