US corn plantings seen 97.43 mln acres; most since 1936-Farm Futures
* Corn seedings seen up 0.3 percent from last year
* Soybean acreage seen at a record 79.09 million
* Some corn and soybean area increase at expense of wheat
* USDA plantings report to be released on March 28
CHICAGO, March 21 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers may plant 97.43 million acres of corn this year, up 0.3 percent from last year, which would be the largest corn area since 1936, according to a Farm Futures Magazine survey.
The survey of 1,750 U.S. growers also showed farmers intend to plant a record 79.09 million acres of soybeans, up 2.5 percent from last year.
"With stocks of both corn and soybeans projected near historic lows, strong acreage this spring is a must to rebuild inventories," Farm Futures Senior Editor Bryce Knorr, who conducted the research, said in a statement.
"Spring weather could still change these numbers significantly and prices will be important, too," he said.
"Some 18 percent of those surveyed said they could still shift 50 percent or more of their acres," he said.
Some of the increased corn and soybean area could be on land that had previously been sown to wheat, Farm Futures said.
The survey found growers may plant 11.91 million acres of spring wheat, down 3 percent from 2012 and durum 2.06 million, down 2.8 percent. The survey also suggests abandonment of hard red winter wheat acres could be as much as 1.35 million more than usual due to poor conditions last fall.
The survey showed total wheat seedings at 56.12 million, down one million from earlier surveys.
All winter wheat seedings were pegged in the survey at 42.15 million, up 2 percent from last year; white winter wheat at 3.54 million, up 5.8 percent; hard red winter wheat at 29.1 million, down 2.5 percent; and soft red winter wheat at 9.51 million, up 17.2 percent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release its March prospective plantings and quarterly stocks report on Thursday, March 28 at 11:00 a.m. CDT (1600 GMT). (Reporting by Sam Nelson; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)
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