Due to the wide drought, one of Iowa’s largest employers anticipates a slowdown in its factories, but no job cuts. Quad Cities-based Deere and Company reports earnings are strong for the just-ended third quarter, but they’re not what was expected. Deere spokesman Ken Golden says Iowa isn’t the only place under a bad dry spell. The drought extends well beyond the Midwestern U.S. In southern Europe, the drought has intensified and spread. Spain and Portugal are seeing their driest period in 60 years, while parts of France and Italy are also experiencing drought. Deere saw a worldwide net income for the quarter at 387-million dollars, compared to 401-million for the quarter a year ago. Worldwide net sales and revenues grew 11-percent to six-billion dollars for the quarter. Golden says he’s optimistic the company’s lean inventory position will set the stage for a successful year ahead. He says Deere is preparing to bring out new product lines in 2006 in the agriculture division and in the commercial and consumer equipment division. Golden says the company is still on pace to be just below or equal to last year. For the final quarter of the year, Golden sees some impact on the many Deere manufacturing facilities, but not likely any job cuts. He says “We’re looking at slowing the production of farm equipment in Iowa, but this doesn’t mean that there’ll be job losses. We’ll probably either reduce the line rate, reduce overtime somewhat, and there could be shutdowns but we haven’t announced those yet, but nothing long-term as far as employment’s concerned.” Golden says Deere is looking at another strong year this year and a “great future” as they prepare for new product launches in 2006.
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