Corn futures are trading higher at midday. Strength in the dollar and concern about the economy initially weighed on the market. But futures were pulled higher by strength in soybeans and firm crude oil prices. Rain this week has helped relieve crop stress in Argentina, although it is too late to help the corn crop much. March is 2 1/4 cents higher at $3.84 and May is 2 cents higher at $3.95.



Soybean futures are higher at midsession. Weather forecasts for Argentina are mixed as the soybean crop moves into the critical pod filling stage. Recent rain has been beneficial, but crop prospects have been significantly damaged. Strength in the dollar and concern about the global economy is limiting gains. Also, the Lunar New Year holiday celebrations in China have limited export demand this week. March is 15 1/2 cents higher at $9.85 1/2 May is up 15 1/4 cents at $9.93.



Wheat futures are higher at midday. Egypt's purchase of U.S. wheat is supportive following the losses yesterday that were driven in part by the disappointing weekly export sales report. However, gains are being limited by the rally in the dollar index today that will hurt the competitiveness of U.S. wheat on the global market. CBOT March is 5 cents higher at $5.83, KCBT March is 3 3/4 cents higher at $6.11 3/4 and MGE March is 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.62 1/2.



Cattle futures are trading higher at midsession. Short-covering is supporting the market after the February contract hit a 2 1/2 year low on Thursday. Positioning ahead of the semi-annual Cattle Inventory report due out this afternoon is also supporting prices. But gains are being limited by further weakness in boxed beef prices yesterday and the lower cash trade so far this week. February is 88 cents higher at $81.98 and April is 70 cents higher at $85.03.



Lean hog futures are posting solid gains at midday. Short-covering and futures discount to the cash market helped rally futures. Hog numbers are tightening, which should help the cash market. But gains are being limited by weakness in pork cutouts yesterday and poor packer margins. The Russian ban on pork from some U.S. packing plants is not expected to last long. February is $1.45 higher at $58.45 and April is $1.50 higher at $62.75.