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John Deere Cutting Farm Equipment Output

June 6, 2024
A forecast for falling agriculture prices has the manufacturer planning for “underproduction” this year, with layoffs and early retirements for hundreds of workers already in progress.

Deere & Co. is cutting its agricultural equipment production in order to fulfill “strategic priorities while reducing overlap and redundancy,” according to its statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That reduction will bring job cuts, though no target figures have been announced.

In a mid-May analysts call, Deere investor relations director Josh Beal explained that U.S. Dept. of Agriculture forecasts of falling prices for corn, wheat, and soybean are likely to reduce equipment sales and the company’s 2024 earnings by 26% year-over-year. He added that farm machinery production will be reduced in response, a strategy he characterized a “planned underproduction.”

Deere reported net income of $2.37 billion in its most recent quarter (April 28), down about $490 million year-over-year.

In February Deere authorized early retirement offers for workers at its Ottumwa, Iowa, plant, and that step was followed by some mandatory layoffs there on June 1. In March, Deere announced 150 layoffs at a plant in Ankeny, Iowa, and total of 500 other layoffs at Deere plants during Q2.

More layoffs at other plants are expected through June and July, according to various reports.

Deere employs more than 80,000 people worldwide.

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