Faced with low grain prices and a worsening sales decline for its agricultural products, Deere & Co. today announced it was laying off more than 600 workers at four U.S. locations.
The decision will affect employees at John Deere Harvester Works in Moline; John Deere Seeding and Cylinder in Moline; John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, Iowa; and John Deere Coffeyville in Coffeyville, Kan.
Overall, the layoffs represent a sliver of Deere’s workforce; the company employs more than 67,000 people. But it does indicate how low commodity prices can affect firms that serve the farming industry, and Deere is already feeling the pressure. Earlier this week, it reduced its profit expectations for the year and noted a growing sales decline in its agricultural machinery.
That will surely be a challenge for Deere. According to Bloomberg, agricultural machinery sales represented more than three-fourths of its 2013 revenue of $38 billion.