So far this year over 1,000 workers in Iowa have lost their jobs at John Deere; that includes the recent announcement of layoffs coming to Davenport on August 30th of 211 workers and the 99 being released from the Dubuque plant on the same date.

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John Deere, a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, will lay off more than 600 production workers in the Midwest due to declining demand for farm equipment. The layoffs will affect workers at the company’s headquarters in Moline, Illinois, and factories in Iowa, including East Moline, Davenport, and Dubuque, according to The Associated Press.

John Deere Workers Strike Over Contract
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DUBUQUE, IOWA - OCTOBER 15: In this aerial view, construction and farming vehicles manufactured by John Deere are loaded onto trucks at the John Deere Dubuque Works facility in Dubuque, Iowa.
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The company reported a significant drop in revenue, with a decline of more than 15% in the second quarter and three consecutive quarters of year-over-year sales decreases. This downturn is driven by a projected 25% decrease in net farm income for 2024, as farmers face lower crop prices and increased production costs.

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These layoffs will impact about 14% of John Deere’s over 4,000 production and maintenance employees, though this is a smaller percentage of its global workforce of more than 80,000. In a statement to Fox Business, John Deere confirmed that rising operational costs and declining market demand necessitated changes to achieve its goals and best position the company for the future.

John Deere Workers Strike Over Contract
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A truck hauls a piece of John Deere equipment from the factory past workers picketing outside of the John Deere Davenport Works facility on October 15, 2021 in Davenport, Iowa.
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John Deere has been steadily reducing its workforce over the past several months. Recent cuts include 225 workers at its Moline Harvester Works plant in October, 150 workers in Ankeny, Iowa, in March, and 34 jobs in Moline in May. Additionally, 500 employees were laid off in Waterloo, Iowa.

The company is also relocating some operations outside the U.S. John Deere plans to move the manufacturing of skid steer loaders and compact track loaders from its Dubuque facility to Mexico by the end of 2026. This decision aims to evolve the company’s business model, address rising manufacturing costs, and improve operational efficiencies.

John Deere Workers Strike Over Contract
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In response to the declining demand for equipment, John Deere has twice lowered its full-year profit forecast, now expecting a profit of $7 billion for 2024, down from a previous range of $7.50 billion to $7.75 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture anticipates a 25.5% drop in net farm income for 2024, further impacting farmers’ ability to invest in new equipment.

Credit: Iowa WARN System
Credit: Iowa WARN System
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John Deere’s recent layoffs and strategic shifts highlight the challenges facing the Midwest's agricultural sector and the company’s overall efforts to navigate the changing market.

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