Corn futures closed on a strong note Friday ahead of the 3-day President's Day weekend. Speculative buying and spillover from soybeans supported prices. USDA estimates for the 2006 crop year were supportive as acreage and stocks are forecast to decline. March ended 3 cents higher at $2.26 1/2 and May closed 3 cents higher at $2.37 1/4.



Soybean futures rallied on Friday. Funds were buying today ahead of the 3-day weekend. Hot and dry weather is a concern for southern Brazil and Argentina. In addition, higher metal prices led to support from inflation-based indexes. March settled 9 3/4 cents higher at $6.01 1/4 and May was 10 1/4 cents higher at $6.14 1/2.



Wheat futures were sharply higher on Friday. Support was generated from concerns that a blast of cold air in the Plains will cause winterkill. Dry soils make wheat more vulnerable than normal to winterkill. CBOT Mar was 9 cents higher at $3.68. KCBT Mar climbed 9 3/4 cents to close at $4.35 1/4. MGE Mar was up 7 1/4 cents at $4.16.



Cattle futures closed lower on Friday. The market fell to lowest level since late September. A steep reduction in slaughter and a continued standoff in the cash market weighed heavily on the futures. April ended 90 points lower at $87.70 while June was 45 points lower at $83.02. March feeder cattle were down 102 points at $107.32.



Lean hog futures bounced higher on Friday as packer's margins showed significant improvement. Cutout values rose again on Thursday while cash prices declined. While packers' margins are still tight they are at least in the black. April closed up $1.55 at $63.17. June was $1.35 higher at $70.65.