ANKARA, TURKEY — Unfavorable weather took its toll on Turkey’s wheat and barley, but production forecasts remain firm, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA forecasts wheat production for Turkey’s 2020-21 market year to be 18 million tonnes but varied quality is expected. Warm and drier weather conditions in May affected Central Anatolia and heavy rains in other regions caused yield and quality losses.

The country is seeing a trend of decreased wheat production as it experiences increased urbanization, growth in alternative crops and the government’s pressure on bread and wheat flour prices. Turkey did import a record level of wheat in the 2019-20 market year of 10.7 million tonnes. Yet, the USDA forecasts Turkey’s wheat imports at 7 million tonnes for market year 2020-21 due to the current harvest estimates.

Despite expected quality issues the USDA expects Turkey’s 2020-21 market year barley production to increase to 8 million tonnes based on increased planting.

Market year 2020-21 corn planting is completed, and the USDA expects a 15% area increase to a total production of 6.85 million tonnes. Corn plantings rose as farmers switched from cotton due to bad returns. The USDA estimates Turkey’s corn imports to be 2.7 million tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year as long as stable demand continues from the feed sector.