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Commodity Intelligence Report
January 31, 2014

Turkey MY2014/15 Winter Grains Central Anatolia Region Dryness Concerns

Winter grains, wheat and barley, in the Mesopotamian regions (Turkey, Syria, and Iraq) are planted and will start to actively grow again by late March. Most of this region has been drier than normal from October to December, 2013. Figure 1 is a map of the cumulative precipitation from November to the end of December, when planting and crop establishment would occur. While soil conditions were very dry at the beginning of planting, precipitation was fairly consistent in November for the crop in northern Syria and Iraq (Fig 2.). The main area of concern is the central Anatolian plateau where only a small amount of precipitation occurred between late September until late November (Figs. 1 and 3). The surface wetness anomaly also indicated the central region to be well below normal (Fig. 1). This unfavorable dry weather would have made it difficult to establish a good crop prior to lower temperatures in December and the on-set of dormancy. Better information will be available to assess the crop by late March from satellite observations. The USDA will publish its first estimate of the MY2014/15 winter grain crop in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report on May 9, 2014 (4, 5).

Figure 1. Cumulative precipitation for November and December, 2013; and, surface soil wetness anomaly for the month of December 2013 for Turkey, Syria and Iraq (1, 2, 3, 6).

Figure 2. Cumulative precipitation (grey line is the normal) for the northern Iraq winter grains region (2).

Figure 3. Cumulative precipitation (grey line is the normal) for the central Anatolian plateau
winter grains region (2).


1. Left, B., N. Ramankutty, and J.A. Foley. 2004. Geographic distribution of major crops across the world. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 18, GB1009.

2. United States Air Force Weather Agency Agriculture Meteorology Model (AGRMET) – Land Information System (LIS).

3. United States Department of Agriculture. 2013. GLAM - Global agricultural monitoring program. Foreign Agricultural Service. Office of Global Analysis. (accessed 12 Dec 2013).

4. United States Department of Agriculture. 2014. Production, supply, and demand database online. Foreign Agricultural Service. (accessed 14 Jan 2014).

5. United States Department of Agriculture. 2014. World agriculture supply demand estimate report. (accessed 14 Jan 2014).

6. WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. 2014. Satellite Derived Surface Wetness Anomalies – Middle East: standardized anomalies.

Article written by
Bill Baker, USDA-FAS Office of Global Analysis ( | (202) 260-8109
Christianna Townsend, Inutec LLC ( | (202) 720-4029

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Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

For more information contact William Baker | | (202) 260-8109
USDA-FAS, Office of Global Analysis

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