WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Unexpectedly dry weather conditions between April and June led to yield and quality losses within the wheat crop in Turkey, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a result, the forecast for wheat production in Turkey for the 2019-20 marketing year has been lowered to 17.75 million tonnes, down from the earlier forecast of 21 million tonnes and compared with 2018-19 output of 19 million tonnes.

The USDA also said wheat planting in 2019-20 is forecast to decrease 5% to 7.235 million hectares.

“Alternative crops, orchard development, greenhouse development, and increased vegetable production due to new irrigation areas are increasing their share of farm area every year in Turkey, which reduces wheat planted acreage,” the agency noted. “Winter wheat planting, which finished in October 2018, was nearly 380,000 hectares below the previous year, mainly due to competition with barley in unirrigated areas, as well as other products differing by region.”

The USDA said May was the second driest month of May in the past 20 years in terms of rainfall.

Barley production also is forecast lower in 2019-20, the USDA said. At 7.9 million tonnes, the forecast is down from an original forecast of 8.5 million tonnes. Despite an uptick in planted area, the USDA said barley production has been adversely affected by lack of rain.

“Barley fields are generally unirrigated and yields are directly linked to rainfall,” the USDA said. “This forecast is still higher than the production figures from the last two years.”