Land O’Lakes may surpass its record-breaking 2017 earnings if first quarter results are any indication. The farmer-owned cooperative posted net earnings of $115.7 million on $3.9 billion in sales for the first three months of 2018, outpacing $109.9 million on $3.7 billion in sales in the same quarter last year. Full-year 2017 earnings reached $364.8 million with $13.7 billion net sales. President and CEO Chris Policinski said by investing in growth and focusing on both the near and long-term future, Land O’Lakes “is well-positioned to deliver another strong year.” The company credits higher vitamin markets in its animal nutrition segment for contributing to the strong first quarter. Dairy foods delivered higher volume although earnings in that sector remained flat due to "commodity market impacts." Product mix, competitive pricing discounts and lower seed sales due to late spring planting drove crop inputs earnings lower. The company’s crop nutrient business, which was added in October 2017 contributed an incremental $3 million to first quarter earnings.
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