Corn futures are strongly higher at midday. The Federal Reserve's announcement on Wednesday that it was buying government debt prompted inflation ideas that pressured the dollar and supported commodity markets. Crude oil is also up strongly this morning. Gains have eased at midday as the stock market is lower and as weekly export sales of only 17.3 million bushels of old-crop were below trade expectations. May is 5 3/4 cents higher at $3.94 and December is 7 cents higher at $4.36 3/4.



Soybean futures are trading sharply higher at midsession, although gains have eroded from the highs for the day. Inflationary concerns are supporting commodities following the Federal Reserve announcing that it will put large amounts of money into Treasuries and mortgage securities. Outside markets continue to support prices despite weekly export sales of 12.5 million bushels of old and new-crop coming in below pre-report trade expectations. May is 21 1/2 cents higher at $9.36 1/2 and November is 27 cents higher at $8.83.



Wheat futures are up strongly at midday. The plunging value of the dollar and expectations for further weakness has helped spur a rally in commodity markets. A weaker dollar should benefit the export market, which has been sluggish. Weekly export sales of 8.7 million bushels of old and new-crop fell below pre-report trade estimates. CBOT May is 21 cents higher at $5.51, KCBT May is 17 3/4 cents higher at $6.00 3/4 and MGE May is 18 cents higher at $6.36 3/4.



Cattle futures are sharply higher at midsession. Recent action by the Federal Reserve has given commodity markets a boost while pushing the dollar sharply lower. Cattle futures have rallied along with the crop markets. However, the cash market has not yet developed this week. Feedlots are said to be holding out for $82 compared to $81 last week, but poor packer margins and sluggish beef demand may limit bids. April is $1.25 higher at $84.80 and June is $1.55 higher at $82.95.



Lean hog futures are trading higher at midday. The short-covering rally was prompted by weakness in the dollar following the recent action by the Federal Reserve. But steady to lower cash hog markets and weakness in pork cutouts have kept a lid on the futures market. Packers have needs covered for the week and have not raised slaughter schedules despite margins turning positive this week. April is 25 cents higher at $62.50 and June is 63 cents higher at $75.10.