Corn futures were mixed on Thursday. Futures were giving back some of yesterday's gains today. However, unless weather forecast for next week turn drier or forecasts show dramatic improvement for early April, look for prices to hold recent lows heading into the Prospective Plantings report next week. May closed 1/4 cent lower at $4.09 1/2 while new-crop December was unchanged also at $4.09 1/2.



Soybean futures closed higher on Thursday. Strength in crude oil and gold markets were supportive, but deep deferred contracts led the rally. The November 2008 contract posted new contract highs today. With planting decisions for this year largely in place, traders are already looking ahead to attracting more soybean acres next year. May was 5 1/4 cents higher at $7.71 3/4 and November was 4 1/2 cents higher at $8.15 1/4. November '08 was 13 cents higher at $8.39 1/4.



Wheat futures ended higher on Thursday. Support was generated from technical buying following the bottoming action seen early this week. Anxiety about the risk of corn planting delays this spring is also underpinning the wheat market. However, favorable winter wheat crop prospects in the Plains continue to limit rallies. CBOT May was 1 1/2 cents higher to close at $4.67. KCBT May was 1/4 cent higher at $4.87 while MGE May was up 1/2 cent at $5.05 3/4.



Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. The market recovered from early weakness to post solid closing gains. Lower wholesale beef prices sparked the early selling pressure. However, the market found support amid ideas that lower beef prices will attract increasing seasonal demand. April gained 67 points to close at $98.40. June was 42 points higher at $95.35. April feeder cattle gained 12 points to close at $105.25.



Lean hog futures bounced higher on Thursday fueled by some improvement in wholesale pork prices and short-covering on recent weakness. With a $1.70 increase in the cutout value on Wednesday, packers were back in the market to add hogs today, but producers are reluctant to sell at current prices. April ended 43 cents higher at $63.80 and June was 78 cents higher at $74.33.