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The central crisis of Khrushchev’s administration, however, was agriculture. He optimistically based many plans on the crops in 1956 and 1958, which fueled his repeated promises to overtake the United States in both agricultural and industrial production. He opened up more than 70 million acres of virgin land in Siberia and send thousands of laborers, but this plan was unsuccessful, and the Soviet Union soon had to import wheat from Canada and the US once again. Khrushchev was convinced and believed that he could solve the Soviet Union’s agricultural crises through the planting of corn on the same scale as the United States, though failing to realize that the differences in climate and soil made this strongly inadvisable.
==Khrushchev foreign and defense policies: on the brink of
Nuclear World War III==
When Khrushchev took control, the outside world still knew little of him, and he was initially not highly recognized. Short, heavyset, and wearing ill-fit suits, he was commonly seen as very energetic but not intellectual, and was dismissed by many as a buffoon who would not last long. Although his attacks on world capitalism were virulent and primitive, his outgoing personality and peasant humor were in sharp contrast to the image introduced by all earlier Soviet public figures. He also had very poor diplomatic skills, giving him the reputation of being a rude, uncivilized peasant in the West and an irresponsible clown in his own country. His methods of administration, although efficient, were also acknowledged as erratic since they threatened to abolish a large number of Stalinist-era agencies.