CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Chicago Board of Trade corn futures ended slightly lower Friday amid profit-taking and expectations that farmers will be able to make some harvest progress the next few days.

December corn ended down 1 cent to $3.72 per bushel, ending up 9 3/4 cents on the week. March corn ended down 1 1/4 cents to $3.83 3/4

The market traded both sides of unchanged early in the session but was mostly lower in the second half of the day. Drier weather forecast over the next few days has created expectations that farmers will be able to get some field work done. That has prompted some profit-taking.

A trader said that the market could extract more weather premium from the market come Monday, although others note that rain is expected in longer-term forecast.

"I don't think too many people really expect us to get a large portion of the crop harvested before the next rain event comes in next week," said Arlan Suderman, analyst for Farm Futures.

Suderman said that on a continuation chart the market held above the 200-day moving average at $3.70, but another analyst noted the Dec 200-day average of $3.91 hovers as resistance.

Some traders and analysts also question whether the market can find enough demand at current levels. Weekly export sales reported Friday were at the lower end of expectations. There are also concerns that the recent rally is going to hurt feed demand from the struggling livestock industry.

Dec corn ended down 1 cent to $3.72 per bushel, ending up 9 3/4 cents on the week.

The market was joined by wheat and soybeans in moving lower. Gains in crude oil limited the losses, traders said.

In other news, Informa Economics projects U.S. farmers will plant more corn acres, but less soybeans and wheat in 2010, according to traders.

The private analytical firm projects corn acreage at 89.394 million, up from 86.351 million this year. Soybean acreage will be 76.767 million acres, down from 77.510 million.

A trader said the projections serve as a starting point for next year, but added "who knows what prices will be in March?"

Looking ahead to next week, the trade is anticipating that Deutsche Bank will be liquidating about 20,000 corn contracts. The selling is expected to start Monday and will last several days.

Analysts say that adds psychological pressure to the market but might not cause a significant break.

"I think the market will absorb that fairly well on today's volume," Suderman said.

CBOT oats futures ended higher. December oats ended up 1 1/2 cents to $2.51 1/2 per bushel and March oats ended up 1 1/4 cents to $2.64 1/4.

Ethanol futures were mixed. November ethanol ended down $0.008 to $1.848 per gallon and December ethanol was up $0.003 to $1.794.


-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5778; ian.berry@dowjones.com