CHICAGO — Lower earnings at Ardent Mills, L.L.C., pushed equity method investment earnings of Conagra Brands, Inc. downward in the first quarter ended Aug. 26.

The company’s share of Ardent’s profits was included in the Form 10-Q of Conagra, filed Oct. 2 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Conagra said its equity method investment earnings were $16.2 million in the first quarter ended Aug. 26, down 46% from $30 million in the same period in fiscal 2018.

“Ardent Mills earnings were lower than they were in the prior-year period due to less favorable market conditions, which more than offset continued improvement in operating efficiencies,” Conagra said.

Ardent Mills was established in 2014 through the combined North American milling operations of ConAgra Foods and Horizon Milling (a joint venture of Cargill and CHS). Conagra holds a 44% stake in Denver-based Ardent Mills. In fiscal 2018, Ardent Mills accounted for 95% of Conagra’s equity method investment earnings.