Corn futures closed lower on Wednesday. Long liquidation, profit-taking and spillover weakness from wheat weighed on futures as traders were cautious ahead of the comments on inflation and monetary policy by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke this afternoon. New-crop was pulled lower as well despite more rainfall in the southern and eastern Midwest that will further delay planting progress. May ended 14 cents lower at $7.52 1/4 and December was 8 1/2 cents lower at $6.67 1/4.      


Soybean futures settled lower on Wednesday. Futures traded higher late in the session along with gains in crude oil while the dollar was weaker, but gains eroded at the close on liquidation once Federal Reserve chairman had a press conference on inflation and the economy. The Fed earlier announced plans to leave U.S. rates unchanged. New-crop futures are being pressured by ideas that corn planting delays could lead to additional soybean acres. May ended 4 3/4 cents lower at $13.78 and November was 6 1/4 cents low3er at $13.68 1/2.   


Wheat futures traded sharply lower on Wednesday. Profit-taking weakness was triggered by forecasts for some rain in the southern Plains. Forecast all for some much needed rainfall in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma this weekend. The MGE was pulled lower as well despite continued cool and wet weather in the northern Plains that is delays spring wheat planting. CBOT May closed 34 1/4 cents lower at $7.77, KCBT May was 37 3/4 cents lower at $9.12 1/2 and MGE May ended 26 cents lower at $9.47 1/2.    


Cattle futures closed strongly higher on Wednesday. Short-covering following recent losses helped support the market after falling to five-week lows on Tuesday. The futures market was pressured earlier this week by weakness in the cash market. Cash trade was mostly $117 live, down $2 from the week prior and $188 dressed in Nebraska, down $4-$5. June was $1.25 higher at $113.55 and December was $1.68 higher at $123.15.


Lean hog futures settled lower on Wednesday. The market was higher at times on short-covering, but futures were pressured by steady to lower cash markets and concerns about demand. High gas prices are expected to slow the normal seasonally improvement in demand. Packer margins are poor and they are trying to improve profitability. However, tightening supplies of market ready hogs are expected to limit weakness in the cash market. June closed 40 cents lower at $96.70 and August was 13 cents lower at $97.85.