Corn futures settled mostly steady to fractionally lower. The March contract traded above psychological resistance at $2.00, but the market failed to generate any additional buying support or upward momentum. Instead, the early gains slowly eroded culminating in a rather sharp setback into the close. March settled 1/4 of a cent lower at $1.98 3/4.

Soybean futures ended lower on the day. Firm cash basis levels supported futures yesterday, but there was no bullish news today to push prices higher again. Beneficial rainfall in South America and forecast for rain helped keep a lid on prices. March ended 3 cents lower at $5.23.

Wheat futures were lower on the close Wednesday after an early rally attempt faltered. The lack of supportive news and forecasts for rain in the Plains late this week contributed to the defensive close. CBOT Mar was 1 3/4 cents lower at $2.97. KCBT Mar fell 3/4 of a cent to close at $3.29 while MGE Mar was down 3 1/2 cents at $3.40 1/2.

Cattle futures were narrowly mixed on the close. The market continued to chop in a sideways range awaiting news from the cash market. We believe futures traders are looking for cash cattle to trade in the $88 to $89 range, down a dollar from last week. February closed 35 points higher at $89.12.

Lean hog futures ended mostly lower today. Cash hog prices were mostly steady on Wednesday and provided no support to futures markets. Trading was reported to be thin on Wednesday with most of the action driven by technical factors. February ended 50 cents lower to close at $74.58.