Today, analysts Joel South and Taylor Muckerman look at two major agriculture companies that kicked off earnings this season with a thud. Monsanto reported a large $229 million loss in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year. However, Taylor points out this is traditionally the company's weakest quarter of the year and that it still retains major advantages over its competitors. 

Mosaic also reported weak earnings and revenue growth, citing weak potash demand from China and India. Joel points out that cheap natural gas has made nitrogen-based fertilizer alternatives more appealing.

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Joel South and Taylor Muckerman have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of CF Industries Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.