Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is seeing improvements in its financial picture. Quad Cities-based Deere and Company reports net income of 68-million dollars for the first quarter, compared to a 38-million dollar loss a year ago. Deere spokesman Greg Derrick:Derrick says sales were up 17-percent in all divisions, which includes agricultural machinery and equipment for construction, lawn and garden. He says the biggest gains came in commercial machines. Most of the Deere facilities in Iowa produce agricultural machinery. Derrick says ag equipment sales were up for the first quarter worldwide but were down in North America.He expects farm machinery industry sales will be flat this year, as compared to last year, though Deere had expected a five-percent rise. Derrick predicts sales will pick up later this year as farmers get government checks and start to plant their crops.
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