One of Iowa’s largest manufacturing employers reports its first-quarter sales reached historic highs. Ken Golden is spokesman for Quad Cities-based Deere and Company says sales in the agricultural equipment division were down but the record was kept alive by the commercial and consumer division and the construction and forestry division. He says it’s part of Deere’s strategy to be broad-based so when one sector is down, others can lift up the bottom line.

Deere saw worldwide net income of 235-point-nine million dollars for the quarter that ended January 31st. That compares to 222-point-eight million for the same period last year. Golden says Deere has increased its outlook for ag equipment for the year ahead, based on sales projections for the U.S. and Canada, as they now think more farm equipment will be sold than had been originally planned.

He makes a distinction though, while the outlook on ag equipment calls for an increase, sales will likely be down overall. Golden says it’s an important point in the sense that in the past year, ag equipment sales were very good, while in the year ahead, sales may still be down overall but it may end up being one of the best in Deere history “which is always good for Deere and good for Iowa.”