KIEV, UKRAINE — After harvesting a record corn crop in 2018-19 of 35.8 million tonnes, Ukraine’s output in 2019-20 is forecast to decline by 20% to 28.3 million tonnes, according to an April 19 Global Agriculture Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA said planted area in 2019-20 will be similar to the prior year, but yields are expected to slide back to average.

“Corn remains a popular crop for Ukrainian farmers as it makes a good fit into existing crop rotations while offering high yields at the expense of higher production costs compared to other grain crops,” the USDA said.

About two-thirds of corn is used for feed purposes, the USDA said.

“The (upward) trends on compound feed production are highly correlated to feed demand stemming from large industrial producers for products of animal origin,” the agency said.

The USDA said Ukraine wheat production in 2019-20 will be 25.3 million tonnes, almost identical to the previous year’s 25.1 million tonnes.

The agency noted that in recent years, consumption of wheat-based products such as bread have decreased, consistent with the decline in and loss of Ukrainian territory.

“In addition, middle-income consumers are switching away from purchasing ‘social’ types of bread in favor of premium bakery products and homemade bread,” the USDA said. “While large, mostly state-owned bread-making enterprises have reduced production quantities, various private, specialty bread producers have opened small stores and are supplying grocery stores in larger cities.”