CHS Inc.'s quarterly earnings fell 38 percent as the company suffered from a weather double-whammy: a wet spring in farm country coupled with fallout from last year's drought.
Inver Grove Heights-based CHS, the nation's largest agricultural cooperative, Wednesday announced third-quarter earnings of $250.8 million, down from $405.1 million a year earlier. Quarterly sales were $11.9 billion, up 8 percent from $11 billion a year ago.
A wet spring in the Farm Belt delayed planting, which in turn reduced fertilizer applications, cutting into CHS' fertilizer sales.
Also, last summer's drought led to a reduced U.S. harvest in 2012, and its effects have carried over into this year with lower grain exports. CHS has interests in three U.S. grain export terminals, including one in Superior, Wis.
CHS' profits were also dampened by scheduled maintenance at its oil refinery in Laurel, Mont., which was shut down for more than a month. CHS sells gasoline and other petroleum-based products under its Cenex brand.