Cargill revealed a 41% slide in earnings, blaming the long hangover on crop handling volumes from last year's US drought and a dent to its energy division from mild weather.
The Minneapolis-based group, the world's biggest agricultural trading house by volume and one of the largest privately-held companies, unveiled earnings of $571m for the June-to-August period, the first quarter of its fiscal year, down from $975m a year before.
The decline reflected the thin volumes of grains available to transport and store in the US following last year's drought, which sent corn yields to a 17-year low.
As of September 1, US corn stocks were at their lowest since 1996, with soybean inventories at their thinnest in four years.
"In North American farm services, the remaining impact of last year's severe drought in the US Midwest reduced grain handling opportunities in the quarter," Cargill said.
The group also flagged a "weak performance" in its energy business, "due to the combined effects of mild weather, soft demand and low market volatility", contributing to a "significant" drop in profits in the industrial and financial services division.
The softness in North American grain handling contrasted with better results by origination and processing operations in negotiating the market volatility thrown up by the dry August, which sparked a little-expected revival in corn and soybean prices.
"The segment successfully navigated the uncertainty surrounding crop production in the northern hemisphere, including weather gyrations in North America," Cargill said.
Furthermore, the division's "South American-based supply chains performed well, utilising the region's big crops to serve strong export demand".
Expansion in malt
The group also revealed that its drive to expand in malt, which has seen it seal a deal to buy Australia's Joe White Maltings, had extended to Canada too, with the purchase of the minority stake in Prairie Malt.
The stake had, like Joe White Maltings, been owned by Viterra, which was carved up after being bought by Glencore last year.
Prairie Malt, based in Saskatchewan, has a capacity for some 220,000 tonnes of malt a year.