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Deere Expands Layoffs Amid Struggling Ag Economy

Deere and Co. continues to actively cut employees in response to weaker conditions in the ag economy and concerns about the broader economy. The company emailed employees late last week saying that salaried and non-salaried workers would be laid off by the end of the third quarter, with an eye toward reducing “overlap and redundancy.” In the email, the company said: “Our economic reality — and that of our customers — has changed.”

The company has already cut about 650 jobs in Iowa this year, including in Ottumwa and Waterloo. Deere is based in Moline Ill., where jobs are also being cut.

 The company is moving some production to Mexico and also cutting back production amid a gloomy view on customer demand through the end of the year. Deere shares are down 7.65% so far this year, compared to a 12.5% gain in the S&P 500.

The latest monthly Ag B arometer from Purdue University and CME Group showed a modest rise in farmer sentiment overall and improved in expectations for capital expenditures, but these expectations remained low. The farmer survey found that 77% of respondents feel it is a bad time to be making large investments on their farm. High interest rates and machinery costs were among the reasons cited.

Just 12% of respondents said it was a good time to be making investments, and of those nearly half said the reason it was a good time to do so was because of high inventory at machinery dealers.

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