1980 grain embargo

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The 1980 grain embargo describes the policy enacted by the United States that banned the export of grain and technology to the Soviet Union in response to the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Initiated by the Carter administration in January 1980, the embargo was lifted by Ronald Reagan in April 1981.[1][2] Tangible effects of the embargo were negligible, with the Soviet Union simply acquiring grain from alternative sources in South America and Europe.[3] It is widely asserted that commodity prices dropped following the embargo, contributing to a severe farm crisis. However, analysis of actual market data[4] at the time contradict this assertion: wheat and corn grain prices, the dominant export crops, actually rose during all of the months of the embargo and only fell after President Reagan lifted the embargo.


  1. ^ Gerhard Peters; John T. Woolley. "Jimmy Carter: "Shipments of Agricultural Commodities to the Soviet Union Memorandums From the President. ," January 7, 1980". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "46. Letter From President Reagan to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev". Bureau of Public Affairs ~ Office of the Historian. United States Department of State. April 24, 1981. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Robert Paarlberg, Food Politics, The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, 2008 [1]
  4. ^ University of Illinois, Farmdoc. "U.S. Price History". Marketing and Outlook. University of Illinois. Retrieved 6 January 2016.