ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN — Kazakhstan wheat production in 2018-19 is forecast slightly lower than the previous year due to weather problems, according to a Feb. 25 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA projects this year’s wheat output at 13.98 million tonnes, about 800,000 tonnes lower than in 2017-18.

“An unusually cold spring, which caused delayed planting, insufficient rains during the vegetation period and rains during harvesting time have badly affected the production outlook,” the USDA said.

The USDA recently posted its initial forecast for 2019-20 wheat production in Kazakhstan, and it projects output of 14 million tonnes.

Kazakhstan is projected to be the world’s 12th largest wheat producer in 2018-19, according to the USDA.

Kazakhstan’s barley production is on the rise as the USDA forecasts 2018-19 output at a record 3.97 million tonnes, and it projects another record harvest in 2019-20 at 4 million tonnes.