WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Turkey’s weather conditions for the market year 2016-17 are still a big concern and have already affected wheat and barley in Central Anatolia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) said in a March 29 report. Dry weather in November and December 2015 in Central Anatolia and Southeast Anatolia caused some damage. 
In 2015, Turkey produced more than 400,000 tonnes of certified wheat seed, which is an increase of 100% from 2006. About 75% of wheat area was planted with certified wheat seed in 2015, the report said.

Winter wheat planting, which finished in October 2015, was nearly 45,000 hectares below the previous year. The decrease was mainly due to crop rotation purposes and farmers switching to vegetables because of their higher prices. 
Although it is still early to reliably forecast market year 2016-17 wheat production, the report estimates it will decrease to 17.5 million tonnes (from 19.5 million tonnes), 2.4 million tonnes of which is durum wheat, assuming sufficient rain and favorable conditions from April to May.

Due to high returns for cotton and soybeans, some corn producers are expected to plant cotton and oilseeds instead of corn, leading to a decrease in the area planted to corn in market year 2016-17, the report said. Corn area is estimated at 620,000 hectares for market year 2015-16 and forecasted at 570,000 hectares for market year 2016-17. Corn production is estimated at 6.2 million tonnes for market year 2015-16 and forecasted at 5.5 million tonnes for market year 2016-17.

For market year 2015-16, wheat imports into Turkey are expected to reach 3.5 million tonnes with a record level of 5 million tonnes of wheat products exports, mostly in the form of flour with an increasing amount of pasta, the report said.

Rice planting is expected to decrease a bit and is forecasted at 96,000 hectares area in market year 2016-17. Rice production is forecasted at 731,000 tonnes in market year 2016-17.

The Turkish Grain Board procured 5.5 million tonnes of grain in market year 2015-16, 3.3 million tonnes of which is wheat, 474,000 tonnes barley, 10,000 tonnes rye and 1.7 million tonnes of corn.