Turkey switches from corn to cotton, wheat production up: USDA

29 Jan 2018 | Tim Worledge

Turkey’s farmers have switched from corn to cotton in their second corn harvest, while the country’s wheat production is set to rise 13%, a grain and feed update from the USDA has said.

While Turkey is not a big producer of corn – production is expected to be marginally lower at 5.4 million mt for the 2017/18 marketing year – like Brazil it plants a second harvest on the same land in some parts of the country.

In Harran, in the southeast of the country, milling wheat was planted for the first crop but farmers switched back to cotton over corn for the second crop, the report notes.

Neighbouring Kiziltepe region followed its first crop with a corn crop, according to the report.

Cottoned on

While the effect in Turkey will be less than marginal as far as global corn balances are concerned, should Brazil’s farmers follow suit, Brazil’s export power will likely be cut.

Cotton prices have hit multi-year highs in recent weeks prompting speculation among the trade that Brazil's farmers could be tempted into switching to cotton and cutting the safrinha corn crop – the crop from which most of Brazil’s corn exports are drawn.

Currently the USDA is anticipating total Brazilian corn production of 95 million mt, with around 60% of that production likely to be borne in the safrinha crop.


Meanwhile, Turkey’s total wheat production forecast for the 2017/18 marketing year has  been revised upwards by around 13% to 19.5 million mt, despite the onset of drought in some parts of the country.

Early season dryness was countered by enough rain through the spring months to ensure the crop developed, while rainfall from October through December was 10% higher than the previous year, but still lagging 18.2% lower than the national average.

A government initiative to encourage the use of certified seeds may also improve yields, the report notes.

Turkey is a major global flour producer, with much of its milling wheat typically bought from Russia via the coaster market.