Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is reporting significantly higher earnings today in its first-quarter report. Greg Derrick, spokesman for Quad Cities-based Deere and Company, says net income for the quarter is up 151-percent. Deere’s quarterly net income is $171 million on sales of $2.9 billion. Compared to last year’s first quarter, that’s an earnings increase of more than $100 million. Derrick says the U-S farm sector is among the market areas that’s seeing strong growth. Sales in the U-S and Canada are up 29-percent for the quarter. Derrick says the first-quarter results reflect improved performance in both Deere’s agricultural equipment and construction and forestry divisions. He says all equipment divisions are benefiting from improving market conditions and continued positive customer response to the products. Worldwide net sales and revenues grew 25-percent to $3.5 billion for the first quarter, compared to $2.8 billion a year ago.