* Corn acreage reductions possible in some areas of Midwest
* Warmer weather next week to spur crop growth
* Farmers racing to catch up corn plantings
CHICAGO, May 23 Rainfall over the next week to
10 days in parts of the Midwest will delay late corn seedings
and possibly cause a shift from corn to soybean acreage, an
agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday.
"Acreage reductions are most likely in northeastern Iowa,
southeastern Minnesota, central North Dakota and western
Wisconsin as rains remain normal to above normal," said
Commodity Weather Group (CWG) meteorologist Joel Widenor.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, Widenor said warmer weather next
week with highs in the 80s (degrees Fahrenheit) to lower 90s F
would help dry soils between showers and speed corn and soybean
"The southeastern Midwest will see the least showers over
the next two weeks and soil moisture deficits will begin to show
up, but it is still too early to pose a significant problem," he
The worst drought in more than 50 years had depleted soil
moisture reserves in much of the Corn Belt last season but a
return to spring rains, though slowing plantings, has boosted
crop prospects for the 2013 harvest.
U.S. farmers took advantage of mostly clear skies last week
to plant corn at a blistering pace to catch up from weather
delays in April and early May.
In its weekly crop progress report late on Monday, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture said corn planting was 71 percent
complete, up from 28 percent a week ago but still behind the 79
percent five-year average seeding pace.
USDA has projected U.S. 2013 corn plantings at 97.3 million
acres, the largest land area devoted to its production since the
Soybean planting progress rose to 24 percent from 6 percent
a week earlier, USDA said.
(Reporting by Sam Nelson; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)