Deere & Co. to Expand Iowa Plant with $85-Million Project

Dec. 21, 2011
Des Moines Works to add 300,0000-ft2 building for sprayer assembly

Farming and forestry equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. indicated it will increase production capacity for self-propelled sprayers at its John Deere Des Moines Works, having secured incentives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the City of Ankeny (where the plant is situated.) Deere indicated it would invest $85 million in capital improvements, including new tooling, and add a new 300,000-sq. ft. building there where the machines will be built.

Self-propelled sprayers are four-wheel vehicles used in farming and landscaping for fertilization and irrigation.

The IEDA included the Deere project among five awards announced last week, including a $205,000 grant to support a retooling project at Caterpillar’s earthmoving equipment plant in Elkader, IA. The Deere project will receive the largest grant awarded last week, and will receive $68 million from the state.

"I'm proud to see Iowa's existing companies continuing to invest in our state," stated Governor Terry Branstad. "Creating an environment where our own companies want to grow and where other companies want to move will help us achieve our goal of creating 200,000 new jobs."

Deere committed to retaining 400 jobs in return for the incentives. Current employment at the John Deere Des Moines Works is approximately 1,900, it said. Works manager John Teeple said the expansion announcement “positions this facility for a strong long-term future."

The company already produces self-propelled sprayers at the site, but it said construction of the new building would begin in Spring 2012 in expectation of manufacturing by Spring 2013.

"This action is another important step as we continue to invest to meet worldwide customer demand for John Deere products," stated Deere Worldwide Agriculture & Turf division president Mark von Pentz. "Expansion of the Des Moines Works helps us meet the need for equipment that John Deere customers use to meet the growing global demand for food."

Deere & Co. has several plant expansion and new construction projects planned or in progress, including operations in India and Russia. A $100-million, multi-year modernization of its John Deere Foundry in Waterloo, IA, was announced last year. The foundry in Waterloo supplies gray and ductile iron castings for Deere equipment.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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