* Showers forecast over the next week
* Rain to slow final corn, soybean planting
* Rain and warmth positive for seeds already sown
CHICAGO, June 7 Rain showers over the next week
will present a challenge to U.S. farmers trying to finish up
planting this season's corn and soybean crops, an agricultural
meteorologist said on Friday.
"There will be three separate systems bringing from 0.3 inch
to 0.8 inch of rain each over the next week. They will be faster
moving systems than we've been seeing, so it won't be raining
for a long time," said John Dee, meteorologist for Global
Dee said showers would move through most of the U.S. Midwest
crop region Saturday into Monday, next Wednesday and Thursday,
and the following weekend. "It will be warmer next week so for
crops that are in the ground it will be pretty much ideal, but
still a little bit of a challenge to plant crops," he said.
Commodity Weather Group (CWG) on Friday also said there
would be short windows of opportunity for farmers to plant crops
over the next week to 10 days due to rain.
"The best chance for plantings will be in Missouri and
southwestern Illinois," said CWG meteorologist Joel Widenor.
"Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and central and northeastern
Iowa will struggle with the most frequent interruptions."
Widenor said warmer weather during the next two weeks would
be good for corn and soybean growth, with high temperatures
reaching the 80s to low 90s (degrees Fahrenheit).
Rains kept farmers out of the fields for most of last week,
limiting their ability to finish planting corn or catch up on
soybeans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its
weekly crop progress report released on Monday.
The USDA said that as of Sunday, the corn crop was 91
percent planted and soybeans 57 percent planted.
Planting progress was the slowest for both crops
at this point in the year since 1996.
(Reporting by Sam Nelson; Editing by John Wallace)