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Published August 19, 2014, 12:09 PM

Deere to lay off more than 600 at four US plants

Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of farm equipment, says it will indefinitely lay off more than 600 employees at plants in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas as falling grain prices hurt demand for tractors, harvesters and other agricultural machinery.

By: Reuters,

Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of farm equipment, says it will indefinitely lay off more than 600 employees at plants in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas as falling grain prices hurt demand for tractors, harvesters and other agricultural machinery.

The company reported a 5 percent drop in third-quarter sales on Aug. 13 and cut its full-year profit forecast.

Deere had about 67,000 full-time employees as of Oct. 31, of which about 33,900 were in the U.S. and Canada.

The layoffs are at plants in Moline and East Moline, Ill.; Ankeny, Iowa; and Coffeyville, Kan.

Deere says it will also implement seasonal and inventory-adjustment shutdowns at the affected plants that would result in temporary layoffs.

The company operated 26 plants in the U.S. and Canada as of Oct. 31, of which 17 primarily make agriculture and turf equipment. Deere also makes construction and forestry equipment.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast record U.S. corn and soybean crops this year — a prospect that has sent prices plummeting and discouraged farmers from buying equipment.

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