(Adds details, background, shares)
Aug 15 Deere & Co, the world's largest
maker of farm equipment, said it would 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 Wednesday and cut its full-year profit forecast.
Deere had about 67,000 full-time employees as of Oct. 31,
2013, of which about 33,900 were in the United States and
The layoffs are at plants in Moline and East Moline,
Illinois; Ankeny, Iowa; and Coffeyville, Kansas.
Deere, whose shares were little changed at $84.90 in early
trading on Friday, said it would also implement seasonal and
inventory-adjustment shutdowns at the affected plants that would
result in temporary layoffs.
The company operated 26 plants in the United States and
Canada as of Oct. 31, of which 17 primarily make agriculture and
turf equipment. Deere also makes construction and forestry
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.
Up to Thursday's close, Deere's stock had fallen 6 percent
this year. It fell about 2 percent on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore; Editing by Don