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Deere to lay off about 460 employees from Iowa tractor plant as it adjusts to slumping demand

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MOLINE, Ill. - Agricultural equipment maker Deere is laying off about 460 employees indefinitely from an Iowa tractor factory as it continues to adjust to market demand.

The Moline, Illinois, company said Friday that the latest round of layoffs will be effective October 20. Deere said last week that it would lay off more than 600 employees at four Midwest factories that make harvesting and other agricultural equipment due to slumping demand.

The latest layoffs will happen at the company's Waterloo, Iowa, operations. Last week's announcement involved factories in East Moline and Moline, Illinois, as well as Ankeny, Iowa, and Coffeyville, Kansas.

The company said also said last week that it was implementing seasonal and inventory adjustment shutdowns and temporary layoffs at those factories as well as one in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Deere's third-quarter profit dropped 15 per cent as sales weakened, and the company said earlier this month that it planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the remainder of the year. The company had hired several hundred manufacturing employees in recent years to meet demand for products made in its Midwest factories.

"We match the size of our manufacturing workforce with market demand," spokesman Ken Golden said on Friday.

Deere & Co. is the world's biggest farm equipment supplier and employs about 31,000 people in the United States and 67,000 overall.

Company shares fell $1.37 to $84.84 in Friday afternoon trading while the Standard & Poor's 500 index was nearly flat.

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