Corn futures are trading slightly lower at midday. The market is consolidating the gains posted late last week. Demand for corn has been strong recently, but the continued spread of bird flu in Europe remains a bearish concern. March is trading 3/4 of a cent lower at $2.25 3/4 and May is 3/4 of a cent lower at $2.36 1/2.



Soybean futures are lower at midsession. The setback is being attributed to technical selling following the rally last Friday. Forecasts for some rain in Argentina later this week and the spread of bird flu in Europe and India are negative factors. March is 7 3/4 cents lower at $5.93 1/2 and May is 8 1/2 cents lower at $6.06.



Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. Crop problems in the Plains continue with dry conditions and concern about winterkill from the recent cold snap. Hopes of sales to Iraq are also supportive. Futures continue to set either new contract highs or highs for the move. CBOT Mar is 4 cents higher at $3.72, KCBT Mar is 5 3/4 cents higher at $4.41 and MGE Mar is 1 1/2 cents higher at $4.17 1/2.



Cattle futures are narrowly mixed at midsession. Light support in the nearby is coming from hedge lifting, but market action remains limited as traders wait for the cash market to develop. Higher beef prices have improved packer margins, but they remain in the red. April is 33 cents higher at $88.03 and June is 3 cents lower at $83.00.



Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. Futures opened higher on the strength in the cash market on Monday. However, talk that packers may reduce slaughter further due to poor margins is weighing on the futures market. April is 18 cents lower at $63.00 and June is 35 cents lower at $70.30.