Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is reporting strong gains in its second quarter financial report. Deere and Company reports worldwide net income of nearly 257-million dollars, an increase of more than 80-percent from the second quarter last year. Ken Golden is spokesman for the Quad Cities-based Deere. Golden says “we’re seeing improvements and contributions from areas that would not traditionally have done so,” including agricultural equipment sales outside North America, while he says it was a very strong quarter for the construction and forestry divisions and for the commercial and consumer equipment division. Golden says that 80-percent increase in income over a year ago can be attributed to two things. He says Deere has been trying to improve the business and has lowered the cost of doing business, while the company has also seen “tremendous” contributions from South America and Asia, while the new product line from the commercial and consumer equipment division is now in Home Depot stores and at dealerships. Golden says compared with last year, agricultural equipment sales increased 14-percent for the quarter and 11-percent for the six months. He says the sales increases for both periods were primarily due to the impact of stronger foreign exchange rates, higher sales overseas and improved price realization.For the first six months of Deere’s fiscal year, net income was nearly 325-million dollars, more than triple last year’s six-month net income of 103-million.